I’ll lead today’s post off with some news. I’ve received galley proofs of Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order. For those who are new to this site, this is the novel that tells the origin story of the Scarlet Order, a band of vampire mercenaries.
Key to that origin story is Desmond, Lord Draco. I created Draco for the story “The Scarlet Order” that eventually was adapted into the first chapter of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. When we meet Draco, we find out that he has brought the Scarlet Order to Spain to work for the Spanish Inquisition. You can read the scene where Draco is introduced on the Vampires of the Scarlet Order Page. Here is Draco as imagined by artist Steven Gilberts:
In chapter two, we learn that Draco lived for many years in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania
“I loved it here in the Carpathians until the Ottoman Turks arrived.” Desmond, Lord Draco stood on a rock pile, his cape pulled tight around him, and surveyed the remains of an ancient castle. Several forlorn walls leaned desperately into one another like drunks trying to stay upright after too much celebration. Any furniture that remained was out of sight. Cloth, whether from furniture, tapestries, or clothing had long ago decayed or been carried away.
“The Ottomans invaded about a century ago, wasn’t it?” asked Rudolfo, more captivated by the fog-shrouded mountain peaks that surrounded them than by the skeletal remains of a castle he had never known. “Around the time I was born – as a human that is.”
Draco turned toward the younger vampire and his lips curled upward slightly. “Only a drop in the well of eternity,” he mused. “In fact, this place has hardly changed since I first came here. It feels like I lived here a thousand years—though it really wasn’t quite that long. The Turks destroyed my home in less than a week.” The English Lord turned his back on the castle walls, closed his eyes for several moments, then opened them and took in the view of the valley below.
A little later in the chapter, we learn that Draco can transform into a rather unique animal.
Without further comment, Desmond, Lord Draco closed his eyes. His skin sprouted bristly fur and developed a life of its own, swarming and writhing. First, his body collapsed in on itself, then exploded into a swarm of flies. Rudolfo nearly grew ill at the sight. His own animal was a bat and, somehow, bats seemed more noble creatures than swarms of insects.
Fortunately for Draco, Rudolfo’s bat-self did not need to eat, otherwise the English lord would likely be in danger of being consumed. The caballero spread his arms wide and ran along the grassy field, transforming into a bat. Together, the bat and the swarm of flies flew over the rocky terrain.
We learn more of Draco’s history when the novel’s action moves into the twenty-first century. Mercy Rodriguez and Daniel McKee are seeking Draco in Northern New Mexico. In this scene, Daniel asks Mercy about Draco.
Along either side of the gravel road were tall pine trees, obscuring a view of the surrounding terrain. When there was a break in the trees, I could see rolling hills and grass, dotted with wildflowers. Even in the cold, wan light of the moon, it was much more colorful and green than the sere sand and grass of Southern New Mexico and Arizona. “So, what exactly is the deal with this Lord Draco?” I asked as we bumped our way along the gravel road. “Is Draco really his name? He almost sounds like a Hollywood vampire.”
“When an Englishman is granted peerage, he gets to choose the name that goes with his title. Draco’s full name and title, these days, is Desmond Drake, Lord Draco of Angelsey, Knight Commander of the Scarlet Guard. He took the Draco part to amuse himself. When he was human, he was a British peer, a Dragon serving King Ambrosius.”
“Who’s King Ambrosius?”
“Ambrosius was King of the Britons before King Arthur. This was all
around the year 480 A.D.”
Draco’s full story will be revealed in Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order. In the meantime, you can read the story of Draco’s days in Arthurian Britain for only 99 cents in Dragon’s Fall: The Dragon’s Quest.
As Mercy and Daniel continue their conversation, you get a hint of what to expect in the later sections of Dragon’s Fall:
I whistled, hardly able to comprehend a being over 1500 years old. “I thought you were going to tell me that he was the real Dracula or something.”
Mercy’s answer surprised me. “He’s about as close as you’re going to come. The way he tells it, he was minding his own business on a piece of real estate in the Carpathians when the Ottoman Turks invaded. He fought with Vlad the Impaler to drive them out of Wallachia and Moldavia. After that, the Catholic Church hired him to drive the Moors from Spain.”
“What is he, some kind of mercenary?”
“He was a mercenary. Now, he pretty much lives in seclusion. Last I knew, he spends about half the year in England and half the year here.”
You can read more of Draco’s story in Vampires of the Scarlet Order available as:
- A Nook format ebook from Barnes and Noble.
- A Kindle format ebook from Amazon.com.
- A print book from Amazon.com.