Shoys here! With a non-Van Helsing fanfic…an epic retelling of the Edgar Allen Poe story the Masque of the Red Death. –chills-
A tale of bloodshed, terror, romance, seduction, mystery, revenge, mortality and beauty…please enjoy! There will be plenty of romance and sexy villains too! To help…the setting is a large country with costumes and styles similar to 17th and 18th century clothing in a Dark Age/Renaissance world. To see art I have done for this and other things, check out my DeviantART, username Sahkmet:D
Rosa von das Roten Tod, or, Rose of the Red Death.
The beak doctor tread onward.
It was his solemn duty for the prince of the land. The prince of Labaverion and the princes before him created the beak doctors to travel the land to heal the dying.
Beak doctors lasted longer than others around the sick. The masks held the only known staving herbs and vapors. Though it got sweaty under the mask, he'd better not take it off around people. He might catch the plague.
There was a plague. A dreadful plague…since Prince Vanguard Prospero…there has been a plague. A plague of the most terrible sorts. And around him in the dead fields, the carcasses of cattle and bleeding songbirds…the wild wheat and the weeds growing, the afternoon sky seeming to tint red…
He shivered trodding faster past the decay and death. He clutched the pack of herbs, scrolls, the holy book, amulets and his food and water. It was slung around his shoulder under the black robes with the emblem of his office. He was frightened.
But he must travel, he must try to help survivors of villages. Sometimes he was successful, most of the time the entire village was plagued and no one was alive…and sometimes he tried his best but they all died, littering the dirt paths or the town streets.
He was a loner of the second rank. He was to sweep this section of the country. The section only had small villages and poor nobility so he could deal with the smaller population. The plague was spreading faster and faster every year…
The plague was known as the Red Death. Blood was it's avatar and it's seal…the redness of horror and blood. Long nights he tossed and turned on his bedroll dreaming about the people he couldn't save, the innocents with their skin bleeding profusely, the half hour time it took to let them die, the weeping children convulsing in tolling fever, the moaning of the dying, the stench of blood and decay, crumbling buildings, the red mist…
He slapped himself.
He mustn't think too much of death, for he would be too shaken to cure it. He stared out in the distance to the north and saw some chimney smoke. There was a village in those hills.
He could not ignore the call of duty. Under this order of monks he must heed the call to the ill. He must try to save all of the God's creatures.
The path was dry and dusty soil and soon he came upon the village. Luckily he saw peasants milling about. Women were getting water from the fountain, a few children laughed a little while tending to sickly chickens, men smoked their pipes and there was some activity in the bar, and a wagon passed in at the other side with barrels and bags.
But all wore black. All were pale. Most coughed. Some men and children were bandaged. Depression hung like clouds and mist. Sadness was everywhere.
He stopped and pulled out his pendant. Cheap metal with the crow as my emblem. The villagers, recognizing he was a much needed beak doctor, started murmuring and swarming closer.
"I am Dr. Williams of the High Order of the Bird Doctors, blessed by the god of healing Cravus. I have the right to cleanse and heal the Red Death at my disposal." He spoke loud and clear.
All were silent save for the howling wind…and a wail from a house.
The village was not fully plagued. It was only tainted, but that wail seemed to prove otherwise.
A little brown haired girl walked barefoot up to the young doctor. She looked up with a dirty muddy face, a ragged brown dress and green apron and a tattered ribbon around her waist.
Her innocent eyes were very sad looking as she stared at the doctor. He looked through the mask holes and looked down.
She tugged on the black sleeve, telling me to follow her.
Through the crowd he tread under the fearful watchful eyes of the people. The little girl dragged the young doctor along to a small shabby hut. The tall doctor strode in with the girl into the dark dirty home.
There was a fire going, dirty dishes, and covered windows. There in the bed was a middle-aged woman with bandages and wet towels on her face.
Immediately the doctor knew what to do. He opened his pack on the table, pulling out dried herbs and a scroll. He started grinding a paste with the herbs and added some cold water from a pitcher. The little girl just stood by and watched as he set to work.
It might be too late for her mother. Already she had lost plenty of blood through the skin that made her clothing darkly soaked. Blood dripped from the tips of her fingers and she kept moaning in pain. Her skin too was flushed red with fever and sweat.
Silently he stripped her and started cleaning her of blood. Naked and dying, he pressed the paste on her face and made some more of different substances for her. It was a broth he made her swallow. The mask's incense made him feel safer and protected him for now, of the plague. He knew he was tainted too. If he was careful he might live 6 more months.
He was trained in the monkshood for a year, and three years earlier was in the medical schools. There was a demand for men to become crusading doctors now that the plague was spreading further inland within the past few years. More people to combat the almost unstoppable disease. He thought he could be a normal doctor…but he was now unscripted to this duty for dying with his country. He would outlast many, but in the end die from the plague. The incense and herbs only stopped it from hitting him full force.
It seemed to waste such a young man with knowledge to try to help the ailing.
But it was wrong not to.
The villagers went back to work as the doctor healed and prayed blessings from the scroll. The priest of the village had just finished burying the little girl's father and set about to pray to the gods in the church.
Then the villagers stopped and looked at the road.
A creature was walking into town.
A tall black shrouded being, with a hat and a beak was shuffling into the village. He had a feathery cowl and the darkness upon the figure was thick and black. The creature had it's head bowed and it's large, black glassy eyes…almost looking like the man had those eyes instead of glass protection…obviously the people assumed it was a beak doctor. He looked like one.
The man stopped in he middle town. A wheezing could be heard from the thing.
"I'll take him. My ill…" A woodcutter said and sauntered over, with grim cause to the doctor. He tipped his hat with the ragged feather and kneeled at the reverend doctor's feet. It was custom when an adult needed the purposes of the Beak Doctors to kneel.
"Help me doctor…help my child…help the village, the plague is here…in the name of the Gods of Life and Death, I beseech your favor." He solemnly said.
The robed, monstrous thing stood and wheezed.
Its beak clacked open and immediately it shrieked, clawed hands with feather slashing out of the folds of the thick robe and grabbed his head. The beast dove down upon the man and with its beak, latched on the man's neck.
It wrenched the woodcutter's head off with its toothed maw.
This was no beak doctor.
It was a monster.
The people screamed at the blood that puddle and the beaked creature that was eating him. Its sharp talons clawed and ripped the flesh and clothes off the dead innocent as it stared chewing the muscles on the chest. It slobbered and hissed like a bird no doubt the thing was bird-like…
The people ran, hysteria all around as they went to their houses while the med gathered their knives, muskets and farm tools. They must kill the thing, the demon!
However it was the children who first noticed. They screamed the loudest as they saw many, many more black cloaked hissing, wheezing clucking bird-men swarm and run into the village.
Husbands watched their wives being mauled to death. Brothers saw their siblings slashed and stabbed with dark daggers. The populace ran back to the middle of the square.
Some went past the demons to the hills that surrounded them. But then they were stopped.
They saw seven red cloaked figures surrounded the village. Deep scarlet robes and long hoods showed nothing but darkness hidden as their faces. A red mist made a border around the village hills. Those who ran through the mist started bleeding and convulsing. They had the Red Death.
Most of the villagers were in the square. The bird beasts, whatever they were, were eating the remains of the fallen attacked people. They made no move into the square though, only to scare those who wanted to make a run for it. The innocents were corralled.
Then there was the sound of horse's hooves, the wheels of a carriage, and a beak doctor looking outside the window at the scene of terror.
The bird men stood watching the terror stricken people. Blood dripped from their black beaked maws and entrails were on their talons and clawed feet. The black blood-lusting things stared at the townsfolk as dust appeared on the horizon. A red carriage was coming.
The doctor took a double take at the blood spattered on the walls and the dismembered body parts everywhere on the ground. He went outside, trembling holding scroll of protection he was muttering and locked the girl into the house. She would be safe there he hoped.
He ran out and the people crowded around him. He handed scrolls to the people, and they immediately started praying the incantations off them in hopes of protection against these beasts. He himself trembled with them, standing tall amongst the weeping women on the ground and the shaking men, ready to lash out with their weapons if the beasts got closer. The cackling flock of the creature and the still figures of the red robed beings watching and surrounded them. No man dared to leave the circle of ground. Some had wounds already from claws and teeth.
He thought he was too young to die. He had heard stories from villages before of blood drinking beak doctors, and found one village completely slaughter, both of Red Death and people partially eaten. But he never saw peasants getting attacked, ripped to shreds and get eaten.
Now he was in the center of the frightened people who hardly knew real bloodshed of this size. Half the village was dead already. The rest were clinging to his black robes.
They all sobbed and cringed. And they watched the carriage roll into the village.
A red and gold ornamented carriage, very large, rolled into the village. It was drawn by four maroon horses. They had dark demonic horns on their heads of varying sizes, shapes and patterns. Teeth jutted from their frothing lips and their eyes were black with a single red spark in them. The rein-master was one of the vicious beaked monsters, looking the same as all the others save for the red feather in it's pointed cap and and red cloak. The carriage was beautiful but had tattered rags around it like it had been draped with a burgundy veil. A red mist surrounded the carriage and dissipated.
The people trembled and most fell to their knees. The doctor stood and tried to remain brave and slowly stepped forward out of the crowd. He stood at the edge holding amulets and shaped metallic objects, wards of protection as he shook and watched as the carriage stopped rolling.
The red ominous vehicle stopped. The horses whinnied and pawed the earth with sharp cloven hooves.
The bird-man cawed. Nothing else was heard but the muttering frightened prayers the people spoke, and wail of a crying baby.
The curtained door opened. Out stepped unto the dirt two red boots and a the trail of a dark red cape.
A man, or thing, or a beast of man, a spirit, demon…god…whatever it was it closed the door and walked out. It turned it's head and stared into the eyes of all the innocents.
"My Lords…in heaven…what are you?" The doctor whispered in his mask. He had grown incredibly sweaty under the heavy cloth and wooden mask on his face, and the scent of herbs he had grown used to now appear to be stifling compared to the bloody vapor his clothing.
A tall man stood. He was clothed head to foot in dark red, like the color of clotting blood or the pal our of a fox in ruddy sunset. He was enveloped by a cloak and his shoulders were pointed. Long red, thin hair like a ghost whipped in the chilly autumn wind and his face was darkened by the shadow of his pointed, large red hat. It looked heavy with a bounty of black feathers and rubies on his hat. Then he raised his face.
All gasped, some screamed, and a woman fainted. The doctor staggered and paled, almost wetting his pants. He had never been so afraid in his lifetime. He had seen death…but he had never seen the god he gave it.
He was sure it was a God.
The being wore a skull mask. A terrible, white mask, and around the eye sockets was dripping blood. The mask did not have a skull mouth, and the mouth was human, the ruddy red lips and the pale chin of the evil being who wore it. The skull mask had instead two fangs, one at each side. Long pointed ears and gold hoop earrings stuck out of the red hair.
The eyes were red with bloodlust and the urge to kill.
Mist seeped like smoke, or mist, or fog, whatever fitted the poison vapor from him…our from under his cloak.
He was a mockery of nobility, or in fact he was of the highest order of the ruling classes of the universal order.
Whatever it was, it opened its arms out and smiled.
"Today a new village will be built. A village of skulls." He spoke in an unearthly beautiful voice.
The doctor himself almost fainted.
Laughter came from those lips of the devilish demon as he saw the peasants quake and whimper. More red mist came off him as he started to move forward to the crowd. They backed away as far as they could go before getting into the mass of the hungry creatures.
He spoke no further, only smiling and standing above the frightened people. The doctor stood still, shakingly pulling out the amulet of his office and holding it up. The being stood in front of him now, glaring down with a dark look. He was no longer smiling.
"I-In the name of P-Prince Prospero the 12th…and the god Cravus…c-cease these t-terrors…" He stammered in the being's shadow.
The being snatched out his hand and grabbed the doctor's throat. The arm was clothed with the same dark hue of red, with black buttons and an ebony cravert on its neck. Skulls were hanging from a chain on his belt sash.
But soon the doctor couldn't concentrate on the being's appearance as he was lifted high to the gasps of the crowd. The choking grip made the doctor wheeze and squirm, his boots kicking in the air and his gloved hands beating his strong arm with the amulets. The protection was not working. He soon dropped them and tried to pry the boney fingers off his neck. The hand was gloved, and under the black leather was something cold. The hand seemed to have long claws…or else no skin…but he couldn't tell. The being glared with intensity.
"You have no authority over me. He is not the real master, little beak doctor…" He said quiet calmly. The voice was deep and of a young man, older than himself but not from middle age. It was alluring, husky, dark and foreboding and yet with a seductive tone that would make a woman listening to him find it irresistible.
What then, the doctor thought? Did he mean the gods?
He noticed in his rolling eyes that the beaked creatures were closing in.
The being licked his red lips with his tongue.
"W-who a-are you?" The doctor wheezed.
This creature of death, this monster, this beautiful and deadly man who was a murderer…
The doctor's hat fell off in the wind as the being pulled the beak-masked face of the doctor close. He collided with his cold red chest and gasped. The stench of blood…and roses hit his nostrils as the doctor's mask was disheveled and the incense no longer purifying the air he breathed. He felt the Red Death seep into his body. His face was a mere inch away from the evil head…the skull of blood.
"I am the Red Death. The God of Blood." He hissed quietly. It sounded like a death rattle, the rasp of the dying, the constriction of a victim's vocal chords as death overtook their bodies.
He was turned around, his back pressing against the body of the god as he saw the 7 robed beings raise their arms.
"The 7 Darkness is my bane, the guardians of my unholy duty. Remember them, they help achieve the evil I make." The Red Death spoke above his head. He watched red mist seep and flow swiftly down the hills.
Down to the panicking innocents.
"And see the beings that look like you. Only they cause death instead of delaying it. They are the Decay, demon hordes, hundreds of them at my command. They are like vultures, carrion beasts, thirsty for blood and suffice on flesh. They worship their own god…I am the god who feeds his followers." He laughed heartily with a darkness in his voice. The doctor whimpered and gasped in horror as The Red Death waved his hand.
Decay, the name of the bird-beasts lunged unto the people and started feasting.
Many more who ran were stopped as the mist suddenly made them fall and writhe in pain. The doctor, helplessly kicking and screaming in the grasp of the monster watched the people either become body parts or moan and twist on the ground, bleeding through the skin in the plague.
"Remember this scene…doctor…remember it." The god hissed in the trembling man's ear.
As he watched them die he felt like a child. Like he was in the grip of a terrifying monster, a bear about to devour him…he felt like a cowering infant under a wolf that was soon to end his innocent life.
He tried not to cry. He watched the scene end, all dead. They had died horrible deaths. Now he felt he might join the town of corpses.
"My minions…strip their faces. Make the bones of their face shine out white amongst the splatter of skin and blood." The Red Death bellowed. The Decay began their work, skinning the faces of women, men, children, farmers…
The witness was held by the neck in the arms of the murderer. The grisly work was done and the Darkness slowly glided down. The doctor was pale and close to fainting, weak and trembling as he assumed he would join the skulled people on the ground.
"You have much work to do now, doctor. You're going to tell your superiors of this…and if you agree I will make you my minion and you will do more with me…" The Red Death turned him to face him, still with a grip upon the man's neck.
"I will n-never s-serve you! I serve the high almighty Prince Prospero!" The doctor said bravely with his finger pointing at the demon's face.
The choke hold got tighter and the being hissed.
"Tell your Prince of Fools that the King of Blood gives him little time to live. The end is nearing…" He growled and spoke.
And then red mist of disease seeped into his mask!
He was dropped to the ground, clutching his face and screaming as he was infected. The ground was puddles of red blood and mud. He felt fevered…he felt…mad…insane…obsessed…
"You will go to your foolish prince and tell him that a new god, a devil has come. His name is the Red Death, and he wants nothing but your families death along with the world. Prepare to utter hell reigning down upon this land. Doctor…you have three days to live and pass this on." The Red Death instructed.
The doctor was fevered and obsessed with his task. He drooled and gruffly laughed, seeing nothing in front of him but red sky, red homes, the red man going into his carriage and driving away, the red Decay flapping after him, and red robed beings disappearing into the air.
He started shambling onward. His destination was the Prince of Fools. Nothing of his past remained. Only the present state of dying was there.
A/N: heh, first non-Van Helsing fanfic on this site! Let me tell you…this is going to be a beautiful, epic, fantastic story!
Rose von das Roten Tod is German for the Rose of the Red Death. Please, my fellow subscribers, review!