Hello? Is there a light shining in this hole in Cauldron where I’ve been trapped so long? This is where the scribbler forgot me. If Quartz thinks he’s having a difficult time in that crystal coffin, he should see what it’s like to be truly forgotten. No, this is not part of my character conflict in Trouble at Caerac Keep. Nor is this where I lived at the story. Quite the opposite, I used to be in the top of Daeric Nevalyn’s tower at the edge of the Keep. No, he didn’t keep me prisoner! I was his student, his ward. I lost my parents when I was quite young. Daeric took me in, became my father and my ward. Yes, he was actually my father in another universe. He isn’t in this one. At least I don’t think he is, although we look very much alike. For years, he was the only family I had, until I found Kyra. I felt safe in Daeric’s tower, certainly safer than I’ve ever been in Caerac Keep. Only Daeric disappeared. The tower no longer feels safe. Happily Kyra revealed herself in the form of a tiny dragon, warning me of perils to come. I’ve kept her hidden thus far. I’ve been asked by Lord William, Earl of Caerac to investigate his Keep along with a strange group of younglings my age. Most of them make me very uncomfortable, yet working with them is important. Daeric isn’t the only one who’s disappeared. People are going missing, including ones close to individuals in my little team of investigators. There’s a rumour that it’s the Vampire Corwyth responsible for the disappearances. He’s risen from his chained crypt to create an army of the undead to take his revenge upon his former friend, Caerac’s Keep. I don’t wish to believe this, yet I know better than to doubt tales of vampirism. I’ve been having dreams, dreams of a mysterious youth who comes to me at night, leaving me in a languid state of exhaustion. There are now two tiny red holes on my neck and on my inner thigh. I’ve seen those marks on other people in the Keep. I’m familiar enough with the legends to recognize the signs of a vampire bite. There is at least one in Caerac Keep, perhaps more. What if vampires are responsible for the disappearances? It doesn’t help that I’ve enjoyed these strange dreams or that I feel like I’m falling for my nocturnal visitor. What if he’s responsible for Daeric’s disappearance? I can’t tell my companions about this. I neither know them well enough or trust them with this secret, yet I need to talk to someone. I fear what Faith would do if she found out. She’s an extremist and already dislikes me for being Serpent-Born. Ariadne doesn’t take me seriously because I’m male. This leaves Varwyth or Ansel. I’m not sure if I wish to confide in either of them about my dreams. Ansel is too young and Varywth, well, there’s something about Varwyth which raises the hairs on the back of my arm. Not that he isn’t fascinating, but is he someone I can trust? I’ll have to wait and see. While doing so, I’ll administer the elixir Daeric concocted to those with the same mark as myself. I’ll talk to people, find out what they know, do my best to investigate the disappearances. Find out of it’s really a vampire behind all of this. I don’t want it to be a vampire. I really don’t want it to be my vampire. I have no proof of this. Why are some people going missing and others are being bitten? If this vampire goal was to build an undead army, wouldn’t he take everybody? Or some being chosen for immortality and others are just food? Why was Ariadne and her missing sister having strange dreams? How did vampires managed to defeat a Point on the Horn of the Unicorn, such as Hope? Her power is supposed to be very effective against the undead? For that matter, how did anyone manage to abduct Daeric from his own tower? All these questions point to a formidable foe with some sort of holy magic. This means our enemy is a cleric or a paladin. I’ve got to find something to back up my suspicions. I wonder if I could question my nightly visitor, ask him directly if he has anything to do with the disappearances? I wonder what he’d say. Would he tell me if he was? Probably not.