What if there was a country ruled by vampyres?
And yes, I mean to spell it with a Y.
The Kingdom of Ainamor (I-nah-more) was small, only nine provinces, far east of the coast and covered in mountains and forests. But Ainamor was unique. It was governed by a single king. The Night King, named for his and his ambassadors' single abnormality. They were vampyres.
Chapter One: A Dark and Stormy Night
The hall was dark, as usual, and as usual, it did nothing to impede my vision as I took my place among the other eight ambassadors and knelt before the Night King. He sat on his guilt throne, reclining on the seat comfortably, looking at us. Nine in all, we were cloaked and masked, in order to protect us from the sun and to add to the mystery and sometimes fear that was used to keep the Night King's power. I was the youngest of all of the chosen ambassadors. Appearing to be only seventeen, I had trained for half a century to be in this position. Self control and conservation were crucial in keeping our society alive. I was the only one under a hundred years old in the room. I quickly snapped my attention back to the king, who had stood to give us the rules:
1. Do not take more than the required amount from tributes. (The tribute is that we drink their blood, just to let you know, we are Vampyres after all. The amount doesnt kill them, but any more may prove harmful)
2. Do not speak to humans unless performing the ritual. (The ritual is what we use to get close to the tribute to drink their blood.)
3. Do not show your face to anyone. (no human is allowed to look at an ambassadors face.)
4. Do not become attached. (This one I didnt quite understand, in all my years listening to the ambassadors after they come back, for they change every year on this date, not one ever mentioned becoming attached to a human.)
After the briefing, we were dismissed and we filed out to the carriages, where human drivers would take us to our assigned town. It was raining hard tonight, and I was grateful to be going from the castle to the carriage while wrapped in my cloak. My driver was hunched in the seat on top of the carriage, cold and wet. I glanced up at the clouds and smiled secretly. The rain would stop with the rising of the sun. With that small mental message, I climbed into the carriage.
I was bounced about for hours as the run rose and the carriage picked up speed in direct correlation to how much the driver dried off. Around lunch time, the carriage stopped at an inn and the driver ate lunch. I sat at the table with him, but did not eat myself. I would wait to eat until tonight, when the human lord, who organized the province's treasures and made sure that no one was starving, because a starving tribute was unsatisfactory, and, though no one knew what an unsatisfactory tribute meant exactly, all were afraid of the Night Kings wrath.
People stared at me in the inn's taproom. Perhaps it was due to my dark cloak, or the mask, or the fact that I said nothing, did nothing, ordered nothing from the innkeeper. When my driver was finished eating, he sent a last glare around the room and left, I followed silently. "People dont respect the ambassadors like they used to." The man muttered, climbing back into his seat. I entered the carriage and we set off for the seventh provence of Ainamor.
The carriage rolled up at the castle in the late afternoon. The castle faced west and so my back was to the sun's slanting rays as I walked up the stairs to the entrance hall. My driver stayed with the carriage, where he would see that the horses were taken care of and then spend the night here before going back to the Night King's castle.
An old, wizened servant led me to Lord Averiz's office, the mans hair was white and thinning underneath the red and gold hat he wore as part of his livery. I noticed the Baron right off. Young compared to the servant, he wore a garish purple doublet with a matching hat. He was a large man, obviously used to indulging himself. The desk in front of the man was covered in gold and jewels, the provence's export. I picked up a ruby the size and shape of a small egg and examined it as Lord Averiz greeted me.
He stood incredibly still as I took the first tribute, a mere half-pint of blood. It was nothing to a human, but everything to me. Immediately, I felt my exhaustion from the long days travel lift and I felt ready to explore my new realm.
"Your tribute is satisfactory." I said, nodding before I turned and walked out.