"You show all the signs of feeding on animals, not people: the bruising on your eyes is the worst I've ever seen. Your gums are cracked and blistered. You show all the signs."
She mentally scanned the incense-hung room: bells, jars, candles, and magical paraphernalia were scattered about in their proper places. In one corner there was a large table at which her bodyguard sat. Another, smaller table sat near the window, and it was at one the vampire sat.
Bookshelves lined the free space of the walls. Leather bound tomes filled them to overflowing. The floor was stone. Dampness still showed where the last magical circle had been washed off.
Dominating the room was Rosaluna's chair. From it she could gaze into any one of a half dozen magic mirrors. To its right was a brass tripod on which rested a bronze head which spoke prophetically when the proper spell was cast.
"But you couldn't be as old as you claim to be without having fed on humans at some point. I suggest you explain when you did."
The vampire looked from the magician to Erikka. She was a barbarian, clad in shapely furs, seated at the larger table. Like Rosaluna, she had long reddish hair, though with less copper to it. Surprisingly small-framed, she still wielded a large double-blade axe with ease.
The vampire tried to smile at the barbarian, which is a useless gesture for a vampire at the best of times. Naturally, he received no grin in return.
"I...I've only killed those who tried to kill me. Them and cutpurses or assassins. I do the city a service, really."