Terror of the Undead
Rufus the Light Fingered
accomplished bard and sneak thief of his day. When his day
actually occurred is a matter of debate. Part of the fault lies with
the Gesta Mochthos (Deeds of the MacThoys) as provided by its
(It also chronicles the tale of the
Her story, the only
version available and culled from the journals at the
of Lost Wages, is also filled modern references to publick
houses and print shops, clearly indicating the tale had been
tainted. It is doubtful a firm date will ever be made.
Rufus’ story also served as fodder
Alabaster Van Gelt, a celebrated playwright at the
conclusion of the Victorian period.
The tale begins late at night with Rufus, a dexterous
young bard, leaving his favorite public house & bordello,
the Spread Eagle, owned by the
Widow Misty Oopoonia.
(The Reader might be curious
to know that people did not regularly travel after dark
prior to the invention of gas & outdoor lighting.
The only creatures out after
sunset were ne’er-do-wells, wild
animals, and those of the other
world, all things that God-fearing
folk did well enough to
inebriated to be concerned for his well-being, Rufus often sang to
himself. (Some theorize that like a bat, he
used the sound of his voice to make his way home through the
This evening one of the
who go bump in the night
(again due to lack of proper lighting--ed)
was about and heard Rufus’ singing. The creature stalked him
for some time before it decided to make a meal of him.
(The Reader can understand the
creature’s hesitation for undead thing or not, the MacThoy
were not the tastiest of meals. It would be
another century before the idea of regular
baths would occur to
them and this being brought on by the
Fire of London. The second
matter being their great alcohol content. Thus, the
MacThoy were of
little nutritional value.--ed)
Rufus, living up to his name, easily
plucked the creature from of the sky and threw it on its back,
knocking the wind out of it. Seeing that it was no ordinary
mortal, Rufus tossed the creature on his shoulder and returned
to the Spread Eagle and the advice of the Widow Misty Oopoonia.
The hostess was quite surprised to
see the creature Rufus had. A few of her remaining guests tied up the
undead and left it near the edge of the woods so as not to
frighten the horses.
Rufus was against killing it,
feeling that sympathy that grows after keeping a creature for a
space of time. It is natural for the fellow to feel a bit of
resistance when called to task of ending the miserable --albeit
Godless-- creature’s life. For that matter, surrendering it to
the shire reeve or the holy man was out of the question. Due to
previous run-ins with both of those ilk, they were likely
not to be believed.
Misty’s eyes lit up. "I know
just the thing for him." She vanished into the house.
The wanton being was quite beside
itself with fear, having come to the full realization of who
held it hostage. It apologized profusely and offered to be on its
way if only the good men would untie it. A fellow moved to oblige
but was shoved back by the others as Misty Ooopina returned.
She fastened a silver bell about its
neck. In this matter they would know
when the creature was about. It hissed and pleaded with
them but to no avail.
They ran the beast
off and could hear it at length, the jingling of
the bell, it scrabbling to remove the bell, the sound of flesh
searing (a vampyre's sensitive skin
reacts poorly when in contact with this
precious metal), and the howling of the creature.
Rufus found himself the target of
these vampiric creatures for several months afterwards—attempted acts
of vengeance or coincidence remains a mystery. He attached a
bell to each and sent them on their way earning Rufus the
moniker the Terror of the Undead.
Belling the beast also made it
easier for traditional vampire hunters to bring down their prey. The Widow
Misty used the bell as a logo for her publick houses believing
they kept the undesirables away.