Two things that can never be contained? Velociraptors and zombies.”
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“Miss Lanthe?” the sorceress repeated, her blue eyes gleaming dangerously. “Why don’t you just buy me a minivan, zip me into mom jeans, and shoot me in the face?”
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“I should name you Wilson the Volleyball. You understand as much as Wilson did and respond as infrequently. What’s that?” She cupped her ear as if the demon had spoken. “No, no, you’re right, Wilson was more hygienic.”
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“A witch holds my life in her palm. Ara, I live or die for you.”
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When she grappled with the question of what it was, her sharply honed scientifical mind deduced one answer: manbearpig.
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He’d swiftly collected those monsters’ heads, tying them together with a piece of the rope she’d hoped never to see again, then strung them over his shoulder. Periodically, he offered his catch to her. “No, no, I have a pair just like them at home,” she’d said. “I would just regift them.”
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Malkom was the illiterate thirty-year-old son of a whore, raised as a vampire’s slave—and filled with rage.
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He gazed down at her not with the expression of a man who was happy with his fate, but with the expression of a man who’d slaughter anyone who tried to change that fate.…
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Order, a mysterious league of mortal soldiers and scientists led by a magister named Declan Chase, a.k.a. the Blademan, along with his trusty bitch, Dr. Dixon. Carrow’s sorceress cellmate had told her the Order was bent on eradicating all the immortal miscreations, or miscreats.
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“As much as I appreciate the invitation to help out with your vemon-retrieval problem, I’m afraid I’m going to have to R.S.V.F.U.”
The Lore: "… and those sentient creatures that are not human shall be united in one stratum, coexisting with, yet secret from, man’s."
The Valkyrie: "When a maiden warrior screams for courage as she dies in battle, Wóden and Freya heed her call. The two gods give up lightning to strike her, rescuing her to their hall, and preserving her courage forever in the form of the maiden’s immortal Valkyrie daughter." * Take sustenance from the electrical energy of the earth, sharing it in one collective power, and give it back with their emotions in the form of lightning. * Possess preternatural strength and speed. * Without training, they can be mesmerized by shining objects and jewels.
The Lykae Clan: "A proud, strapping warrior of the Keltoi People (or Hidden People, later known as Celts) was taken in his prime by a maddened wolf. The warrior rose from the dead, now an immortal, with the spirit of the beast latent within him. He displayed the wolf’s traits: the need for touch, an intense loyalty to its kind, an animal craving for the delights of the flesh. Sometimes the beast rises …" * Also called werewolves, war-wolds. * Enemies of the Horde.
The Vampires: * Two warring factions, the Vampire Horde and the Forbearer Army. * Each vampire seeks his Bride, his eternal wife, and walks as the living dead until he finds her. * A Bride will render his body fully alive, giving him breath and making his heart beat, a process known as blooding. * Tracing is teleporting, the vampire’s means of travel. A vampire can only trace to destinations he’s previously been. * The Fallen are vampires who have killed by drinking a victim to death. Distinguished by their red eyes.
The Horde: In the first chaos of the Lore, a brotherhood of vampires dominated, by relying on their cold nature, worship of logic, and absence of mercy. They sprang from the harsh steppes of Dacia and migrated to Russia, though some say a secret enclave, the Daci, live in Dacia still." * Their ranks are comprised of the Fallen. * Enemies of most factions in the Lore.
The Forbearers: " … his crown stolen, Kristoff, the rightful Horde king, stalked the battlefields of antiquity seeking the strongest, most valiant human warriors as they died, earning him the name of Gravewalker. He offered eternal life in exchange for eternal fealty to him and his growing army." * An army of vampires consisting of turned humans, who do not drink blood directly from the flesh. * Kristoff was raised as a human and then lived among them. He and his army know little of the Lore. * Enemies of the Horde.
The Demonarchies: "The demons are as varied as the bands of man …" * A collection of demon dynasties. * Most demon breeds can trace like vampires. Some breeds are bound to obey summons. * Those that can emit poison from their fangs, horns, or claws are more vulnerable to others’ poison. * Many demon breeds must have intercourse with a potential mate to ascertain if she’s truly his—a process known as attempting.
The House of Witches: "… immortal possessors of magickal talents, practitioners of good and evil." * Mystical mercenaries who sell their spells. * Strictly forbidden to create personal wealth or grant immortality. * Separated into five castes: warrior, healer, enchantress, conjurer, and seeress. * The only witch known to possess the powers of all five castes is Mariketa the Awaited.
The Sept of Sorceri: "The Sept forever seek and covet others’ powers, challenging and dueling to seize more—or more darkly, stealing another’s sorcery…" * A breed-line broken from the enchantment caste of the House of Witches. * Born with one innate power, their root power. If they lose it, they become slaves to their own kind called Inferi. They can trade and steal secondary powers. * One of the physically weaker species in the Lore, they used elaborate armors to protect their bodies. Eventually they held metals—and especially gold—sacred.
The Furiae: "If you do evil, beg for punishment—before they come… " * Ruthless she-warriors bent on delivering justice to evil men when they escape it elsewhere. * Led by Alecta the Unyielding One.
The Berserkers: "A berserker's lonely life is filled with naught but battle rage and bloodlust… " * A cadre of human warriors, known for their merciless brutality, who swear allegiance to Wóden. * Stronger and faster than mere mortals, they carry within them the spirit of the bear and can channel its ferocity into a berserkrage, temporarily becoming as powerful as an immortal. * When a berserker wins his two hundredth battle in Wóden's name, the god will grant him ohalla—immortality with untold strength.
The Sirenae: "Near the sea’s edge, beware the siren’s song…" * A female species of immortals, they can permanently mesmerize and enslave males who hear their singing. * Derive power from the sea and can’t be away from it for more than one cycle of the moon.
Wendigo: "Corpse-eaters insatiable for flesh, ravenous for blood. They feed and feed, but can never be sated." * Found in the boreal forests of cold and northern lands. * Distinguishable by their long, knifelike claws, and bodies that are forever emaciated. * Will dig up graves for flesh.
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