Lilith smirked, the golden fruit still clutched in her hand as she watched the puzzled group surround the empty sarcophagus. She was, admittedly, a little take aback that no one had yet deduced the gravity of the situation. Apparently, a less subtle, more theatrical approach, was necessary.
A swirling black mass of bats burst forth from the apparently empty coffin, engulfing the party in a cloud of the screeching, biting creatures for several seconds before they dispersed, surrounding Lilith on the raised hill opposite the coffin, where she still stood by the towering tree. She began her calm, steady descent down the hillside, through the dense foliage, plucking another fruit from the low-lying branches as she approached. Several bats abruptly dropped to the ground with a thud, before clambering to their feet as they took humanoid shape, swirling black mist masking their transformation. The vampires flashed a cruel, familiar smile as they followed Lilith toward the group, now in lockstep with her - each with the same smug expression on their faces identical to those of the vampires they had met outside.
"What's the matter?" she asked dryly, her cold eyes flitting briefly to the empty sarcophagus, "Not what you were looking for?"
Ahmal jumped from the pedestal as the bats left the coffin. He stalked Lilith into the foliage, worried about her going off alone. He had suffered a cut to the arm when the vampires errupted from their cage, but he would manage. He watched as a score of vampires materialised around Lilith. He had been right, they would target her. He loosed an arrow at one of them, reloading.
Ahmal took a few paces back. He kept his bow raised and, unable to train it on all the vampires at once, aimed it at Lilith.
"Why would you help us, you abominations? Why should I even trust you?" He didn't take that apple. He'd heard too many stories of people taking apples to go wrong in his experience to even consider taking one of the golden fruit.
Lilith's lips curved into a smile as she lowered her peace offering, now pacing deliberately around Ahmal, "Does it not cause you to pause," she began, circling ever closer and closer to Ahmal, "that you would be led here, to slay a vampire... a being you've never encountered before, and know little about... with no explanation as to why? Have we wronged you in some way?"
Lowering her scimitar slowly, she slid it into its sheath, "If we are the wretched, predatory creatures you imagine, how have we remained hidden from the modern world for so long?"
She now raised the golden, dew-dripped fruit once more, holding it directly between her face and his, "I was the first. I tasted immortality when the rest of humanity had lost it. Ask yourself, in my position, what would you have done? If you knew there was something you could do, that would allow you to escape death... forever... and all you had to do in return was taste it...
"Would you?" In her skilled manipulation of misdirection, which she had first displayed the day prior in the skills demonstration, she was now inches from Ahmal, the pungent aroma of the dripping, gold fruit permeating the air as she offered it once more, a well-meaning smile on Lilith's face.
Tye smirked, black lightning ripped down his arms in an instant as he quickly drew his sword. The blade had the same energy coursing through it as his aura. He lifted the sword with one hand, pointing to the group of vampires. "PAL-A-DIN" Tye accented in a mocking tone. Just as he did, a beam of sunlight burst from the tip of his sword directly toward he group of Vampires. "Now, that I have your attention...maybe you will kindly hop-off my friend and continue to 'persuade' us from back there" Tye had dealt with vampires one-to-many times, being a Master-Rank Paladin.
Destiny smiled at the suggestion, she clipped her flute to her belt and walked over to Tad. "Sure, food sounds great...but I have to warn you, I'm picky" she giggled.
Lilith was close to him now. Ahmal could smell the apple and a slight aroma from Lilith. He was definitely never going to take the apple. He'd heard enough stories about apples to know that they should be avoided. Instead he pulled his bowstring.
"If I let this go, it'll all be over. Give me a reason why I shouldn't." He waited, feeling a bead of sweat dribble down his forehead. What if she were right? What if the vampires really were harmless?
Vincent wrapped his arms around both Destiny and Tad's shoulders.
"I saw a fairly nice looking diner on the way here, and I think one of the cards they gave me was a credit card...Perhaps a night on the town is in order? We did just beat the bad guys." He turned to Ame and Seraeus.
"You down for it?"
As the lesser vampires snarled and recoiled in surprise, Lilith stood stock still, her eyes glaring directly into the burst of light as her pupils narrowed into slits. That smirk really irked her, why do they always smirk?
"You've not faced one such as I," she muttered, taking a step back from Ahmal, "I was there when the sun was young... I suppose you'll dangle cloves of garlic in my face next?" Without warning she, the lesser vampires, and a legion of apparently inanimate objects around the chamber burst into clouds of screeching bats and joined the massive swarm swirling overhead as they descended, filling the room as they scratched, bit, and attempted to cling onto the group.