#5 Baron Rathbone

| November 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

#5 Baron Rathbone

Sometimes, the hunger will subside for a second, offering the Baron a moment of clarity. A brief respite, often long enough to take stock of what’s become of things & then remember back to what things used to be like.

Sometimes, he can think all the way back. Back to when he was among the living. It’s rather hazy, but he remembers the English countryside, a manor he feels was once his, & the sight of a ravishing woman in a Georgian Gown. The memories become far clearer after the bite.

It occurred late one night on a lonely old road deep within the woods. The Baron was on his way back to his manor when suddenly the coach came to an abrupt stop. He readied a flintlock he had stashed under the seat, thinking it was the work of highwaymen. But the gun had no effect on the true assailant, a red-eyed man with fangs & the strength of ten men. When the Baron finally came to, the sun was just moments from rising & the hunger started taking its hold. He staggered the rest of the way.

For centuries, the Baron preyed on humanity like an apex predator culling the herd. The longer his bloodlust, the further removed from them he became. Traveling with the East India Company, on the battlefields of the Somme, stalking the tunnels during the Blitz, the Baron was there. Time passed, but he never aged a day. Eventually a war broke out to end all wars. When the bombs eventually grew quiet. The winter that followed, brought on by the ashen skies, were the halcyon days for the Baron & his ilk. While there might’ve been fewer dining choices now, with less sunlight to hinder them, the vampires declared open season. Mankind was hunted to near extinction. The few that remained seemed to band together in impregnable strongholds & wait out the cold. But the proximity proved to be their ultimate undoing, as they were ravaged by disease. Humans became harder & harder to come by. When desperate & famished enough, the Baron would sometimes partake on whatever other mammals he might stumble across. Perhaps even birds. The Baron can remember his last human victim, a small sickly girl, almost seeming as though she welcomed her fate. He has no way of telling how long ago that was any more. But the daylight he shielded himself from then was yellow.

These days, it’s red & looms massively, pushing ever closer towards the ground the Baron stands upon. The oceans have mostly boiled away & even now, the scorching air grows thin. The landscape is a charred tinder, with less & less evidence of anything ever existing. In the early days after man, the Baron looked back at them almost wistfully. After not caring about them for the better part of a millennium, suddenly he missed them very dearly. And still the hunger persisted. Left with just wild animals, the Baron was forced to switch gears. But eventually, even they ran out, leaving nothing to sate him. Less able to cope with the intense craving, the Baron began to lose control. The once proper, upright Englishman started to sink into the depths of a feral madness. His demeanor & even his appearance (which until that point looked the same as the night he was bit) started to distort into more of a wild beast. And the longer he went without the taste of blood, the less energy he seemed to have, leaving the once proud vampire nothing more than a lethargic imp.

His existence now is a miserable one, spending most of his time buried within a tattered sheet for few miserable square inches of shade, trying not to burst into flame. Feeling like a snail, occasionally he’ll stick a hand or a foot out to into the sun’s rays for the instantaneous burn just to feel something besides the overwhelming hunger. Part of him thinks he should just cast the off the rags & let the sunlight finish it. But the other part of him, even through the bestial rage is much too proud. Still, there’s no telling just how long he’ll last or what he’s even holding out for any more at this point.

While trying to play catch up, I got caught up in details again. I know I know. I stink. The idea for this guy came from vampires having a pretty crappy endgame. I know the lore’s different depending on what you’re looking at, but if you’re immortal as long as you avoid sunlight, what happens if you stick around long enough for the Sun to go red giant? Does the light affect a vampire any differently? Maybe just a slow sizzle instead of a complete spontaneous combustion. But what happens as it keeps looming closer & closer & things heat up? This was tough though because I never told a vampire’s origin story before. I’m not a fan of what I’ve got, but I’ve already dwelled enough.

Wish I could’ve jazzed up his design a bit more but the practicality of the sheet kind of left little of him to go crazy on. And the idea of the sheet is that it’s been baking in the intense sunlight for the last thousand years & almost ready to disintegrate, so I didn’t know how I could really spiffy it up other than making it drab, faded & tore up. The feathers were an impulse decision but thinking about it as I was coloring them, where is he going to find them? They’d probably all be long gone even before the humans. Eh. I overthink things. Whatever. He just looks like a bum though. And really, he should be like millions of years old. So I didn’t push the age & decay enough for sure.

More soon hopefully with the weekend coming up.

Category: 2013, Horror, Scifi

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30/M/PA, USA/COMIX!!!

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  1. Dan Jensen says:

    You’ve got plenty of detail here, I wouldn’t worry about his cloak being “drab”. Those wrinkles!

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