Chapter One: Rune Cast
Andrea shivered in the warm night. It was not her first time consulting the runes in the cover of darkness. Her mind wandered as she reached into the soft leather pouch at her belt. Her mother had given her these. When she had opened it for the first time, the runes had been a bloody red color, stained with blood from Andrea's own hand. Now the color had faded to a dull orange, but Andrea still remembered what he mother had told her.
"It's an oracle," her mother had said, explaining the concept to her six year old daughter, 'It will not tell you what to do, or how do do it, but, the runes never lie."
Andrea nodded. She had reached into the bag, her little hand grasping at the cool stones. It closed around one.
"It's blank!" she exclaimed, after feeling the little tablet up and down, peering at it closely, trying to see some form of indentation.
"It's Odin!" her mother laughed, "the rune of destiny. It is fortunate that you draw this on your first casting!" Then her face grew somber. "It also tells of death. Guard yourself, my little Andrea."
Andrea snapped back to reality as she heard the clink of the clay tablets against one another. She deftly yanked open the bag and pulled out a run. She glanced down at it.
"Just what I needed," she groaned sarcasticly, "Perth the rune of mystery." Something was blocking her future.
But that was her life now, full of mystery. With the orphanage closed down, mother dead, and father gone, whe had no idea whether she would survive the night. She groaned as she remebered her mother's final hours.
Andrea's mother had been sitting at the table with her run set. She was trying out a new formation.
The Vampire V.
It used Isa -rune of Ice- as it's power source. But if you got the wrong combination, it meant certain death.
The runes didn't lie.
Andrea sighed and shook her head. Maybe a runemal design would clear her head.
A three lifetimes spread, exactly! Andrea nodded her head in ernest as she goaped in her bag, picking out five runes. Setting them in to a cross, she flipped them over.
"Defence, Joy, Constraint, Standstill, and Retreat?" she wondered out loud, "What does that mean?" She shook her head. "This is useless! Maybe I shoud try..." she trailed off. It was dangerous to attempt The Vampire V. Failure meant death, and death meant... she shuddered at the thought of her precious runes turning to dust.
She put the runes back in the bag nad fished out Isa. She starred at it dazedly. It's straight line burned bright like liquid fire.
"Better late then never," she sihed and layed the tablet down on the board. Andrea progressivly put down twelve other runes, forming a V-shape. With a final sigh, knowing it might be her last, she drew one more rune.
She held it tighly in her hand. It all came down to this. Shoud she finish? Or should she abandon the runes now?
Andrea looked at it. The small tablet had an arrow on it. The Warrior. It wa pointing towards the board with the thirteen other runes. Victory in Battle, she mused silently.
She slammed it down on the board.
Nothing happend. Andrea made to put the runes back in the bag, but as her hand closed around Isa, fire shot thorugh her body. As her vision blackend, Andrea raised her right palm. On it was branded the mark of Isa.