A basic premise of this novella is that the main character's father, Drakos, is a Reform Vampire--that is, a vampire who has sworn off blood. He has collected a few other vampires who are like-minded. They have vowed to go on the wagon. Here's a bit on a couple of them. More coming in a day or two. All the descriptions are direct quotes from the book.
BLOOD TIES TESTED
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The old man allowed Tao to sit cross-legged before him, arms resting on his knees, and strangely his index finger and thumb touching forming a strange shape. They remained in this position for days. When Zhu Xi allowed Tao to move again, the vampire felt at peace. He was no longer driven by blood lust. Zhu Xi died, as humans do, and Tao Lung wandered through the countryside imparting the same peace of mind Zhu Xi had given him. His wanderings brought him eventually to Drakos’s door. As their spiritual guide, he was the key to the family’s success. When the others wavered in their resolve, they went to Tao Lung. He need say nothing. The one who needed strength sat with Tao Lung as he had sat with Zhu Xi. When their mind was at peace, he released them. They bowed and went about their daily business.
Finally, the other nobles could no longer ignore so many missing girls. When a few of the girls from noble families disappeared, they called on King Matthias to send an investigator. As it happened, the man sent caught Elizabeth in the midst of torturing a girl. Tried for murder, she stood mute while the servants who had aided her in the kidnappings tried to bargain for their own lives with their testimony. It did no good. Their bodies hung limp in the village square. But she knew the rope wouldn’t cut her life short. Pretending to be dead, being buried, then having to claw her way out again would have been annoying but survivable. As a noble, she demanded her right to a trial. The court found her guilty. According to the customs of the times and being of noble birth, the court sentenced her to live out her life in a high tower with the windows and door bricked shut.