The Circus Master: The Curse of Lakos: Part 1: The Warlock’s Misfortunes

The town of Lakos was a quiet unassuming place. Its people favoured a simple way of life and it stood out on its own, separate from any other village or indeed any form of civilisation by miles and miles of forest and fields.

For years Lakos was ignored by the rest of the world, and managed to escape the unnatural horrors that had plagued humanity. Sadly however Lakos couldn’t remain hidden forever.

A man named Mestron, who ironically had once been seen as a great hero from the lost civilisation of Muraca, would be the one who would unknowingly condemn this innocent hamlet to the most horrifying fate.

Mestron was an immortal Warlock. He had been one of the few to survive Muraca’s fall. Whilst many throughout history have condemned him as a coward who fled when the Dragons began to sack the city. There was actually nothing he could have done to save the city. Even before the Dragons sacked it, Muraca had been a mere shell of its former self for many decades and would surely have crumbled at some point in the near future.

Still Mestron would always feel guilt at not dying alongside the kingdom he had devoted centuries of his life too. Despite having proven himself time and time again as a great warrior, Mestron would never argue when people shouted at him that he was a coward.

Mestron always sought to try and make up for apparently abandoning his people. He didn’t just want to help people however. He wanted to do something that would secure his place as one of the greatest heroes of all time, and in his mind, cleanse his soul.

Mestron believed that opportunity had finally come when he discovered the book of Khastran. This book had the power to turn any human being into the first of a new breed of blood drinking Demon, who together were known collectively as Vampires.

Khastran who created the book was the first, most powerful, and the most evil Demon in all of existence. The Vampires, who were effectively his children, were naturally more destructive and evil than any other Demon species on earth. They had plagued Muraca for years, and had even played a role in its downfall. They were also responsible for the destruction of many other great civilisations throughout human history including both the Roman Empire and Atlantis.

By finding the book that had created them, Mestron hoped he could find a way to destroy these unholy monsters forever, or at the very least find a way to prevent any more Vampire breeds from being created.

Unfortunately however, being a part of Khastran, the book could not be destroyed by any conventional or magical means on earth. Mestron would spend many years trying, but each spell failed to even make a dent in the books cover.

Word would soon get out that the book was in Mestron’s possession, and not only would he be hunted by Vampires, but also by the sworn enemies of the Vampires, the Vandals.

The Vandals were hideous Demons who fed on their victims souls. They much like Vampires had been created from a book, bound in the flesh of another powerful Demon (who belonged to the same race as Khastran.) There were also many different Vandal breeds too like the Vampires, all with their own powers and abilities.

The Vandals and the Vampires had been locked in a war with each other since before recorded human history had begun. Though Mestron wanted the same thing as the Vandals, ultimately the Vandals did not believe that the cowardly Warlock who fled his city in its darkest time, would be able to protect the book from the Vampires.

They wanted to dispose of it themselves and in hindsight, it would have been better if Mestron had just given the Vandals the Book of Khastran. Though the Vandals were evil, they would have made sure, even if they couldn’t destroy the book, that no Vampire would have been able to find it again.

Sadly however Mestron wanted the glory of finally wiping Vampires from the face of the earth forever, so he continued to hide from both the Vampires and the Vandals, whilst trying to find a way to destroy the book.

Eventually Mestron would come to hide in Lakos. He had stumbled upon the village by accident, after having been forced out into the wilderness, not just by Vampires and Vandals, but the very people he had once hoped would sing his praises as a hero.

The Vandals, who by this point had considerable power and influence, swore they would slaughter all of the people they had imprisoned in their camps, unless Mestron handed himself over. Mestron at first agreed. There was no way he could have saved the people in the camps, and whilst he was glory hound, underneath it all, Mestron was still a good man who couldn’t bare the thought of having innocent people’s blood on his hands.

Unfortunately for Mestron, a small group of Vampires, thanks to a traitor in the Vandals ranks, were able to capture Mestron first. They could have killed him, but they decided to torture Mestron, by keeping him alive long enough to see the horrors the Vandals would commit because he didn’t hand himself over. Vampires are such sadistic monsters they never go for the kill when there is a chance to demean, humiliate and torture their victims.

The Vandals remained true to their word and butchered thousands of innocent people in their camps. Their mutilated corpses would be strung up for everyone to see.

Mestron went from just being a laughing stock to the most hated man in Europe over night.

The Vampires would continue to torture Mestron for days afterwards before they were found by a group of Vandals. Whilst the monsters were fighting each other, Mestron managed to escape with the book.

There was nowhere he could turn. Everyone wanted him dead now, but Mestron was now more determined than ever to destroy the Vampires and the Vandals too.

Mestron fled throughout the wilderness to try and find somewhere safe he could practice his spell to destroy the book. His magical constitution meant that he did not have to find food or water, but the Warlock’s thoughts drifted to suicide many times. He had once lived in one of the greatest civilisations ever to grace the earth, where he had even been a celebrated hero. Now however he was skulking about in the forests of Europe because he couldn’t even show his face.

Eventually Mestron stumbled upon Lakos after months of wandering the wilderness. Seeing a village in the distance he instinctively  turned away from it, but as he slept that night in the woods, he was found by two hunters from Lakos.

These two men named James and Andrew respectively took pity on Mestron. They had no idea who he was, but they were good people who obviously couldn’t just leave someone lying out in the middle of the forest.

Mestron was quite shocked at anyone showing him even the tiniest bit of compassion. For so long Mestron had been used to people laughing at him, treating him like a pathetic coward, even when he risked his life to protect them.

When they took the Warlock back to the village, Mestron was even more surprised to see that no one even knew who he was.

Mestron would grow to love this innocent little village, untouched by the horrors of both man and Demon for centuries. For a while Mestron even forgot about his quest to exterminate the Vampires.

He was enjoying just being able to walk out among people, be accepted, and even make friends, all things that he hadn’t experienced for centuries.

Eventually however Mestron would resume his quest. Every day Mestron’s thoughts would turn to the Vandals victims. Even though he had been willing to give his life for them, he still felt he was responsible for their deaths. His desire to destroy the Vampires was now more ironically much more selfless. Now above all else Mestron was determined to make it up to the Vandals victims.

Sadly however his attempts to destroy the Vampires would instead result in yet more blood on his hands.

Mestron kept his magic a secret from the people of Lakos. He did occasionally use it to perform tricks to amuse the children, but even then everyone just assumed he was a magician.

Mestron was popular among the people of the town when he first arrived. None of them had ever met anyone like him before. He told them incredible stories about monsters, Demons and Vampires (though none of them had any idea that they were actually real!)

As time went on however and Mestron became more obsessed with trying to find a way for the book of Khastran to destroy the Vampires, he became more of a recluse.

Mestron had been working on a particularly powerful spell for years that he hoped could destroy the book. This spell had been used as a weapon by both the Angels and the Gods to destroy members of Khastran’s kind many years ago.

The spell however, being one that could only be practised by the most powerful creatures in all of creation was not easily mastered by even the most experienced Warlock on earth.

It was also a very dangerous, and unpredictable spell too that if not performed correctly could easily destroy an area the size of Lakos.

Mestron thought about leaving Lakos so as not to put its people in danger, but sadly, whilst in some ways a brave hero, Mestron was also in other ways, quite selfish and did not want to leave his new home. It was possibly the only place in Europe he could walk down the street and not have people spit on him!

Unfortunately however his love for Lakos would also compromise his work too. In some ways Mestron wanted his war against the Vampires to be over so that he could just enjoy his life in Lakos.

Sadly this would lead to Mestron, who was normally incredibly careful with his magics to be more reckless than ever before. Mestron believed he had finally found the correct way to channel his magics into the book that would rip it to pieces.

All his spell did however was simply create a tiny rip in the books cover. Mestron didn’t take into account the fact that Khastran was the strongest member of his kind, and so the spell would actually need more power than one Warlock could ever possibly have.

Worse still by creating a tiny rip on its cover, Mestron would allow some of the evil trapped within the book to escape into the outside world.

The evil from within the book would make its way to the cemetery, despite Mestron’s attempts to contain it. There it revived two of the corpses as Vampiric entities.

These Vampiric corpses were as single minded as animals as well as immensely strong. They devoured many of the towns residents, literally ripping them apart in the streets before they were dispatched. Even though Mestron destroyed the monsters himself using his powerful magics, the people of Lakos still arrested him for his role in their creation.

He was their first suspect of course. Many had begun to distrust him the way he constantly sealed himself off. Lakos was always a very open community, with everyone in the town knowing each other to some extent. Recluses didn’t simply exist in Lakos, and so Mestron was their number 1 suspect by default, as he was the only person whose behaviour couldn’t be accounted for.

Mestron handed himself in however. He was overwhelmed by guilt at what the Vampires had done to Lakos, a town that had taken him in when he was at his lowest. Not only had the Vampires slaughtered many innocent people, (many of whom had been his close friends.) But the corpse one of the Vampires revived was of one of the most beloved men in the town, and ironically one of the two men who had found Mestron in the forest too, Andrew. Mestron later suspected that the evil revived Andrew’s corpse specifically to torture him.

Mestron wanted the people of Lakos to hang him, but sadly for the Warlock, the people of Lakos were opposed to the death penalty, and as he didn’t have the courage to end his own life, Mestron was simply left to rot in his little cell.

There he would remain for 5 years, degenerating into a mere shell of his former self, both physically and mentally. His cell had a window that led out into the street. Every day people from the village would come and shout and jeer at Mestron, calling him a monster, a liar, and a coward. Among them was Andrew’s daughter, Sherri who would even throw things at Mestron whenever he got near the window.

There was one person in Lakos however who did not hate Mestron. Ashlei McKay.. Ashlei was a kind hearted girl that many of the other villagers felt was somewhat simple. In truth however she was just open minded and willing to to give anyone a chance, though sometimes her trusting nature perhaps could be taken advantage of.

Ashlei didn’t just trust Mestron out of the goodness of her heart however. He had personally saved her life from one of the Vampiric corpses. Though she knew full well that it had been Mestron’s fault those monsters existed in the first place. She still could not believe the lies spread about him throughout the town, that he was an evil Warlock, that he tricked the people of Lakos by pretending to be their friend so he could destroy them from the inside.

One of the Vampires had broken into Ashlei’s home and cornered her and her little brother. They both lived alone, as tragically just a few years earlier when Ashlei was just 17 years old, her mother and father had been killed in a horse and carriage accident. Ashlei and her brother had bravely tried to defend one another from the Vampire, but it completely overpowered them in a matter of seconds. Had it not been for Mestron they would have surely perished. Mestron came crashing through the window, and literally threw himself in front of the two siblings and using his magics, wrestled the Vampire to the ground and managed to tear its head off.

Ashlei couldn’t believe that someone who risked his life to save two people he didn’t even know was completely evil. She was the only person in the town who spoke up in his defence during his trial (something which made her a pariah for a while) and after the Warlock’s imprisonment, she would go to the window outside of Mestron’s cell every night to talk to him.

Mestron at first ignored her, but as time went on and the loneliness became unbearable he would talk to her. He was more honest to Ashlei than he had been to anyone else in the town and told her the truth about the Vampires, the Vandals, as well as the less than heroic things he had done in the past. Ashlei however understood his previous mistakes and still believed he was a good person. She argued many times in town hall for his release, which was always met with a resounding no.

Ashlei’s reputation would only decrease among the towns folk for even defending Mestron. People would begin to throw things at her when she walked down the street, Sherri even spat in her face one time.

Still Ashlei would remain loyal to Mestron in spite of it all and continue to visit his cell every day, until eventually he told her to leave him alone. He didn’t want to, but Mestron could see how associating with him was ruining her life and corrupting the very soul of Lakos itself. This once happy, united town was now turning in on itself all because of his actions. Ashlei didn’t want to leave him, but she soon saw that Mestron was so broken, no one could help him, and sadly left her friend to sit alone in his cell, constantly reliving his many failures over and over again in his mind.

The Book of Khastran meanwhile was placed in the local church. Everyone was absolutely terrified of it to the point where for the first few months after the Vampires attack, no one was brave enough to even touch the book.

Eventually however the local priest would take it to his church, hoping that the power of God could purify it of its evil. It was buried in a graveyard at the back of the Church.

Sadly however neither Mestron, nor the people of Lakos realised that the monsters the former Warlock had already, inadvertently unleashed on them, were nothing compared to what was coming

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