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The Early Dawn

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This story is No. 5 in the series "The Horsemen". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: There are hunters out there with more kills than Edward

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Xander-Centered
Highlander > Xander-Centered > Theme: Immortal Xander
angrymonkeyFR151356,43431269134,97023 Jan 0725 Feb 08Yes

The Legend

Don't own anything, Thanks to my Beta Horny Sex Kitten

NOTE: This is part of a series, but I don't think the prequels will matter for a little while. Suffice it to say, Xander is a highlander type immortal, in the non-highlander-Anita world. If you need a summary of previous stories check out the first chapter of Willow The Ancient.

The Legend Of The Early Dawn

(The past)

Julianna leaned back in Asher's embrace, fully satisfied after feeding
Jean Claude's ardeur. The vampire in question was now drowsing next to the two of them in the
predawn hours. Snuggling deeper into the crook of Asher's shoulder, Julianna asked, "Tell me a
story Mon Ange Dore."

Asher chuckled, "What would you like to hear Ma Petite?"

Julianna shrugged, "You decide."

Asher closed his eyes and tried to think of a story. After a few moments, he settled on one
that the child vampire Valentina told him shortly after he had been
turned. "How about the legend of The Early Dawn?"

Julianna perked up, "That sounds nice."

Asher chuckled again, but this time there was a darker edge to it, "Ah Ma
Petite, it is far from a 'nice' story. You forget that for vampires there is
little that we fear more then the coming of daylight."

Julianna shivered, which was the intended effect, and Asher continued. "Our
second oldest legend, dating back as far as our histories record is of a how
the Dark Mother founded our society under a single council. It is in a sense
the vampiric story of Genesis. The legend of the Early Dawn predates even that.

Asher paused and took a breath, "Before the Dark Mother founded the council,
vampires were not as they are now. All but the most powerful masters were
mindless revenants. No soul and no personality remained from before the
turning and all that was required to spread the plague was a single bite. To
make maters worse holy items did not protect humans and these monsters needed
no invitation to enter a home." Asher's voice lowered and he all but
whispered, "But the animalistic monsters were nothing compared to the masters.
Unlike their fellows, the masters kept a human intelligence, however unlike
today, they had no trace of a conscience. They controlled hoards of revenants
and hunted down humans until the entire species was near extinction."

Julianna was no longer drowsy. Turning to face Asher she asked, "How did man

"No one knew who he was, only that he appeared to be human. He gathered the
few remaining humans and taught them how to defend themselves. He showed them
how to forge silver weapons and how to create circles of protection around
villages and houses. Using magics previously unknown he summoned primal animal
spirits and forced them into the bodies of the greatest warriors, giving them
strength and speed that matched the vampires. Over the centuries these men and
women changed and became more and more feral until one day their beast
tore through their skin and roamed the land."

The old masters soon began to fear even the whisper of the Early Dawn's name
and would flee from a village with their entire hoard whenever they saw him
crest the Eastern hills with his army of primal humans. Where before the
vampires had been an unstoppable plague, now they became the hunted. During
the day the primals sniffed out their hiding places and caves, slaughtered them during the day, and engaged their armies at night."

Julianna was spell bound, she had never seen such an intense look on Asher's
face. It was obvious that the vampire believed every word he was saying.Asher
trailed off, and Julianna looked at him curiously, "What happened?"

Asher looked a little sheepish, "That ma petite, no one knows for sure. All
that is known is that one day it looked like it would only be a matter of
decades before all of our kind were wiped out. When for no reason The Early
Dawn came to the Mother at night armed only with a sword. The two went deep
into a cave and only the Mother came out."

"Did the Mother kill him?"

Asher chuckled, "For the human servant of a vampire you can be quite naive Ma
Petite. Of course she killed him. No single human or Were could kill a master
such as the Dark Mother no matter how exceptional."

Julianna looked slightly put out, "How did the humans survive then?"

"After the Early Dawn was killed vampires began to change. Most became more
human than they had been and gained many powers, such as the ability to
enthrall humans and to control animals. At the same time, restrictions were
placed on these new powers. Homes were now sacrosanct, and a human's faith
could repel even the strongest masters. Those vampires who refused to change
were slaughtered like the animals they were. Shortly after this the Mother
formed the Vampire Council."

Julianna was excited by the story; after all who hadn't wondered where the
Council had come from? Propping herself up on her forearms she asked,
"But why did the Early Dawn face the Mother alone? No man can possibly hope to
stand against a master vampire with only a sword?"

"That is one of the many mysteries lost to history."

At this point Jean Claude began to chuckle, "Do not take Asher so seriously ma
belle, that is merely an old fairy tale." At Asher's stubborn look he added,
"If it is true then tell me how a human came to have a sword when most of his
kind were still using pieces of flint to cut hides."

Any response Asher could have made was cut off by the rising sun.

I know this is a strange direction to take the series, but most questions should be postponed until after a few chapters. (Yes this is Xander's story)
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