Authors: C.K. Farrell
The Violet Hour
An introduction to
The Celtic Vampyre Saga
The Celtic Vampyre Saga, The Violet Hour
Copyright © 2012 by C.K. Farrell
ISBN # 9781476005324
Published by Fadó Books
Cover Artist: D’Arcy Ondine
Development and Structural Editor: Megan K. Breen
Copyeditor: Carolyn M. Pinard
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or any portions thereof, in any form. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews. Please purchase only authorised editions of “The Celtic Vampyre Saga” from authorised sellers. If you would like to share this book with another person, purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.
To all who believed and showed faith in me over the years;
Go raibh maith agaibh!
Nathaniel Valour let out an elongated sigh as he sank his athletic, yet languorous looking body into a kidney shaped dining booth made from solid birch veneers. A somnolent expression adorned his youthful and classically handsome visage. He was the perfect epitome of a vampyre lost in the ennui of eternal life.
With his grey eyes encircled by a faint rim of emerald green, Nathaniel scanned the usual assorted patronage of The Dungeon; a dank, low-ceilinged tavern where vampyres, shape-shifters, werwülfs, and bipedal dæmons of all walks of life dined and drank their fill in the company of likeminded and soulless others. It certainly was a menagerie of the damned, but recently, The Dungeon had become the favourite hangout spot for disporting vampyres more than any other kind.
Nathaniel shook his head in disgust and then brushed an errant strand of raven black hair off his ashen, unwrinkled face. His hair was cut, but it was kept a little long—long enough to be swept behind his ears. A dark shirt under an even darker three-quarter length wool coat, accompanied by a pair of brown corduroy trousers, imparted an aura of casualness about him, but that was far from the case. The sombre colours lacking vibrant tones found in Nathaniel’s wardrobe were a direct representation of his saturnine temperament and the charred landscape within. A miasma of angst hung in the air around him at all times like a thick cloud of dust.
It truly sickened Nathaniel to his stomach to sit amongst them, but sadly he had more in common with the degenerate beasts and creatures of the night, or more appropriately, the nasty contingent that warmed the seats within the netherworld establishment, than he did with the teeming human populace above ground. With haunts like this far and few across the city of Boston, Nathaniel Valour had grudgingly become a regular
at the nefarious dive appropriately called “The Dungeon”. It was unquestionably a mystical and pandimensional watering hole built on unhallowed ground that professed a monster for every season, and a fresh virgin always in stock to use for every kind of ritualistic sacrifice, or simply for a good ol’ fashioned unholy libation.
Nathaniel was familiar with many of the vampyre clientele who stirred in the shadowed corners of the tavern—usually a lot of your run-of-the-mill, low-level nasties who had an unmitigated longing for wanton malevolence. But on that particular December night, the sawdust-covered floors were filled with a much rowdier and even more eclectic bunch of brutes and savage fiends than usual, who were there to kill the dark hours with their foul desires. There especially were too many wet-behind-the-ears vampyres with bloated egos on the prowl looking for a notch on their juvenile fangs. Being a vampyre of many vintages, Nathaniel had very little patience for uncouth younglings and their tiresome antics, which often and easily drew his ire.
Closely he watched the tenderfoot outfit and noticed that some of the males in particular within the group appeared to have their dead eyes fixed on a pack of slovenly werwülfs who were clearly from out of town. From their hairstyles, their garish clothing, and their sheer volume, Nathaniel assumed they hailed from the not-so-distant shores of New Jersey. The werwülfs were disturbing other paying customers around them with their roughhousing and wild carousing. This was not going unnoticed by staff, or more significantly, by Nathaniel.
Amoral werwülf scum
, he labelled, not needing a single shred of definitive proof.
Even though he had a passionate abhorrence for young vampyres and their arrogance in general, Nathaniel hated werwülfs and their rumpus antics even more so. He had a general scorn for all their canine septs. Nonetheless, he had to show decorum. He was an elder, a leader—somewhat of a statesman within the social order, who possessed a stalwart regard for the stringent rules that had been set in place a long, long, long time before him.
Like all draconian societies and oligarchies, the laws, both physical and metaphysical, that existed within The Dominion of the Vampyre, The World of the Werwülf, and all the realms of the other various dæmon clans in between were harsh rather than just, and categorically needed to be so in order to keep civility between all factions. To keep an ongoing healthful coalition of courtesy was a thorny task. But senseless bedlam was not the way of the vampyre—not on the Eastern Seaboard anyway, and especially not under the watchful gaze of the stolidly, calm Nathaniel Valour, who took great pride in maintaining the longest period of peacetime in written record. Too many years before his supervision had been lost to withering internecine strife and warfare that had plagued all sides equally. They were indeed fruitless times for all walks.
The way of the vampyre was largely an ideological construct wrapped up in authoritarianism, and there was no one better to lead and enforce its principles and leathery dogma with grit than Nathaniel. Dealing with disrespectful vampyres and rowdy werwülfs and their puerile nature should have been a mere bagatelle for a vampyre of his position, but in truth he wanted nothing more than to smash their fanged faces off the bar counter to teach them all a lesson about how things work in his territory, which generally comprised of the region commonly known as New England. It just so happened that Nathaniel additionally had his own unwritten laws, besides the ones that were already scrawled into the hide of record. And he made sure that those within his enclave were aware of his ordinance, and more importantly, they conscientiously abided by it.
From personal experience, the phlegmatic leader knew that a mystical tavern filled with recently turned vampyres (that had no regard at all for the rules of conduct, never mind their elders) and drunken werwülfs (that had an ungodly amount of testosterone spewing through their veins and had a great love for fist-pumping) could turn a generally peaceful and cordial environment where all have agreed by way of a blood oath to lower their weapons and retract their hooked and pointy claws for the evening, into a powder keg of carnage, mayhem, and incivility.
The very fact that the blood of a werwülf tasted awfully similar to that of a human only made the situation for potential violence more enticing for the wide-eyed vamps that were drooling uncontrollably for a fresh kill. Indecent and gauchely dressed mongrels were the best kind of pub-grub to be had.
But to kill within the walls of The Dungeon was an offense—a misdemeanour of great magnitude that was only payable by death itself. To enter inside the premises was to enter into a caveat of peace and concord that held no grey areas to seek exception within.
Being somewhat of a crossbreed—a vampyre with a soul intact—Nathaniel Valour had the weakness of fear and frugality existing within him. They were like bookends to the minute traces of humanity that he still possessed after spending over two hundred years lurking within the shadowy backwoods of everlasting life. With his vampyric abnormality he was able to smell violence before it erupted, along with the knack to resist the urge to participate in beastly acts of bloodshed if he so wished. That specific facet of his behaviour had only come into play in recent years. Before that, he would have wallowed gleefully in all forms of bloodletting. Nowadays, however, Nathaniel felt like he was a canary down a coalmine, but instead of a mine it was a world of untold horrors that he felt caged within. He was the unknown contradiction to the paradigm.
It would be fair to say that he lacked a sense of place within his dreary and cheerless environment. As a matter of fact, Nathaniel had given up the slaughter. His soul was weighed down by too many sins from times of yore. His person was frankly strung out and he was desperately seeking castigation for all the lives he took, for all the innocence he plundered, for all the honour he poached, for all the dignity he raided, and for all the mirthful pleasure he took in doing such acts. Nathaniel was thoroughly glad that the morbid well of iniquity that he so often pulled from in the past was after running dry, leaving the dark side of his soul as empty and fruitless as a dust bowl.
Nathaniel was as much one of
as he wasn’t. He was stuck betwixt and between both worlds and he could do nothing to change that fact. He was a vampyre suffering from divergent thinking on an immeasurable scale. One of the main reasons as to how Nathaniel had survived so long unscathed in a dæmonical milieu that has gone (and continues to go) unseen by a majority of its living and breathing inhabitants who walk the Earth was because of both his viciousness and his scruples. The latter was the foremost cause as to why he was unable to truly enjoy the life of the immortal and puissant
. But to last as long as he without being terminated by a fellow comrade in darkness (or worse, meet the sharp end of a dæmon hunter’s weapon) took cunning, guile, and at times, a cutthroat mentality.
Within and without the tavern Nathaniel was highly respected, in addition to being highly feared among his fellow soldiers of gloom. He had a reputation that preceded him. Nathaniel was a living (well, un-living) legend amongst a breed that had a rather quick turnover. He was seen as a shadowy knight
an antihero of mythic proportions who gaily painted victories with the spilt blood of the runner-ups.
Some of his past battles and dastardly deeds were marvelled upon and much celebrated within the vampyre community, and as a result he had carved his name into the lore of the wicked. His past thirst for destruction and obliteration made him a standard-bearer for all others of his genre. But in spite of all that, Nathaniel did not view those bloody times as his halcyon days in the canon of his roving existence. Instead, he saw them a necessary evil along the scorched, serpentine road to tribulation—his very own Via Dolorosa.
Yet still, the remnants of humanity and the shards of empathy that remained within him, that refused to give up the good fight, cloaked his sinful achievements in a silken fabric of remorse. It was a feeling that no other vampyre he knew of had to endure. Nathaniel was genuinely rueful about all he had done, but that was his secret that nobody else knew, especially none of the sycophants and die-hard admirers who he nightly dined amongst. They all would steal glances at their idol, but dared not be bold enough to approach the great man’s table, and especially never dared to cast aspersions on his allegiance to evil. To be in his retinue would be but a dream for any of them, but Nathaniel was the type of potentate vampyre who liked to fly solo. He refused any sort of entourage outright.
In recent years, Nathaniel discovered that he could no longer ignore the sharp pangs of guilt. His eternal hangover (a result of a little bit too much heartache followed by a series of sorrow chasers) that he was suffering from seemed to have no intentions whatsoever of relinquishing its unyielding grip on his soul. But Nathaniel needed such a pain to let him know that he was still alive, per se. It made him hopeful that he could one day fully overcome the quelled darkness that resided inside him, and perchance atone for all the sins that he had committed during his omnibus of terror that some others would call a charmed afterlife.
Unsuccessful fearless and fearsome missions to liberate his soul from behind the barbwire fences of his dæmonic internment camp had become the norm. But no matter how much he tried, Nathaniel found his efforts were in vain and ultimately futile. He was an auxiliary member of The Lonely Hearts Club Band and wore a crown of thorns for his troubles. Even so, he wasn’t ready to kiss the hues of the setting sun on any chance of salvation, no matter how slim his chances were. Hope was not meant to spring eternal in the breast of the Vampyre, but it unmistakeably did so in Nathaniel Valour.