The Parable of the Vampires in a Castle

A coven of vampires conspired to conquer a city in thirst for a glut of fresh blood. An entire city would yield a feast for all, it was conceived, and all agreed. The only disagreement among the undead there gathered was where to start: some believed that poor outskirts of the city were the best place to begin, as there they would find ample supply for all to partake, while others maintained that the delectable blue-blood of the elite inside the citadel was the only proper overture to feast to follow. Some countered that the high-born would serve as the coup de grace, and should be reserved until the very end. Eventually, it was agreed to assail the gates first and determine a right path as it strategically presented itself. No vampire to date had survived a lone foray into the city.

Breaching the walls was a simple task, achieved in the blink of an eye, as the city guard recognized the insurmountable threat and fled. As the vampires gathered at the conquered gates, they spotted a young Lord on a horse. He immediately turned tail and fled up the city street to the castle. The vampires all pursued him, unable to resist the youth and nobility of his blood. The guards of the castle had already fled, having been warned by their compatriots fleeing the city gates of the intruders. The vampires followed the young Lord right through the open castle doors uncontested.

The Lord rode his horse through the halls of the castle, right into the throne room. The King, the Queen, the Lords and Ladies, along with their attendants, all rose in horror to the sight of swarming vampires running rampant through the doorway, grabbing and devouring whomever they pleased. It was an unabated slaughter of the aristocrats and their retainers.

Outside, the citizens gathered and discussed the course of action. The most fearful hoped to flee to the countryside. The surviving guards proposed a simpler solution: everyone in the city knew and understood that the citadel was impervious to escape and to entry when properly sealed. Past kings had wintered interminable sieges in the powerful Keep. They decided to sacrifice their elite to the greedy coven and lock the castle from the outside.

Within, the vampires quickly devoured the majority of the court before realizing the thunderous slam of the front doors of the castle had sealed them in the royal vaults. They stopped their feasting, leaving a few of the lesser nobles alive for the moment while they sought an exit. In time, they realized that the citizens had betrayed their elite and they would not escape.

The coven started to fight among itself- at first verbally and then physically- over the remaining victims. The most vicious of the vampires took the nobles for themselves, eating them whole and leaving nothing for the rest. Desperation for food destroyed the resolve of the vampires to work together against their prey, and in the weeks and months that ensued, they murdered each other one-by-one.

In the streets of the city, the people recognized that the vampires could never be let out and that the citadel was lost forever. They sealed it for all time against the invaders. The vampires knew only eating and violence in the pursuit of eating, and only the most savage of the brood would be left. They knew that they would kill one another down to the last survivor. They were right. The final vampire wandered the halls, howling for blood- a vampire only knows hunger.

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