Chapter One: The Red Witch's Deciples
Uncounted centuries ago, in a land of mists and dark forests, the noble families of a now-forgotten kingdom sought a way to increase their life span beyond the meager years allotted to them by their human heritage. One evening, their elders were approached by a mysterious entity known only as the Red Witch—a scarlet-clad figure who held the key to their dreams. She offered to them a powerful blood-bonding ritual that would grant them the vitality of vampires without subjecting them to the taint of undeath. These human nobles became the first living vampires—blessed with great power gained at the price of their own vitality. In later centuries, these creatures became known by the name of the noble family that first forged the pact, the Vrylokas.
By carefully concealing their true nature, the first vrylokas quickly rose to power, becoming the rulers of their realm. In time, others learned of the dark accord that was the source of their power. An uprising of the vrylokas’ human subjects soon followed, and their former kingdom was cast down and lost to the mists of time. However, the living vampires endured.
Over long generations, these deposed nobles managed to insinuate themselves into the upper classes of other nations, reestablishing their power and prestige. Paying attention to the lessons of their history, vrylokas go to great lengths to keep their true nature secret, living elaborately crafted double lives.
To the world at large, vrylokas are known as human nobles who were displaced from distant ancestral homelands. But even as they are welcomed into the upper circles of their adopted cultures, the vrylokas maintain their true society in the shadows—a dark court of living vampires constantly plotting for power against each other and the mortal races.