Raythe Reign Deep Dive: Sanctuary


Raythe Reign has millions of words’ worth of stories, both in the Archive and currently running.  This time, we’re taking a deep look inside our most traditional contemporary vampire story, Sanctuary.  Sanctuary is completed at 48 chapters!

Alex Bryant finds true love with ailing vampire club owner Demetrius Black as he tries to protect his little brother from their predatory stepfather.

Romance, Drama, Vampires!

RR---Pie---SanctuaryAlex & Demetrius have a romantic relationship almost from the very beginning of the story.  This helps them fight their enemies together and also gets them into bed faster.

Though Sanctuary has a big plot involving vampire factions, a predatory stepfather, and Demetrius’s enigmatic, absentee Master, the heart of Raythe Reign is the romantic relationships… and the romantic sex, of course.

DRAMA: 30%
Sanctuary has many elements of a classic gothic drama — a fresh young character falls in love with an older, mysterious character and gets introduced to a hidden world. In this case, it’s the secret world of vampires, existing right alongside humans.

With gothic drama always comes a touch of mystery, but Sanctuary doesn’t involve many shocking twists and turns.

Some Raythe Reign stories have the main characters always shooting at something. In this one, there are only a few scenes that involve fisticuffs, chasing, or weaponry.



Alex, The Caretaker

“My father always believed in true love though he didn’t have it with my mom. I don’t know that I thought it was possible, but the moment I saw Demetrius up on that balcony I felt something click inside of me. Like a piece just snapped into place that had been meant to be there all along though I didn’t know it was gone before.”

Alex Bryant never thought he’d be noticed by reclusive club-owner Demetrius Black, or that the beautiful man would save his life only a few hours later.

When Alex catches his cop stepfather Greg in the act of molesting his younger brother Peter, he accidentally shoots the man in self-defense. Greg survives, but uses his authority to make Alex look guilty. Alex’s only chance to stay free and keep Peter safe is to flee to Sanctuary, Demetrius’ club.

moon-stars-iconThere, he is welcomed into a world of luxury and night. Before long, he discovers Sanctuary’s secret: it is run by vampires. Though Demetrius has a condition that makes him too sensitive for touch and Alex is a human, it does not stop them from falling in love.

Alexander takes Demetrius’s nocturnal nature in stride and enthusiastically encourages his lover’s desire for blood. But with both Demetrius’s enemies and Greg intent on destroying Alex, how long can Alex stay safe, even under a powerful vampire’s protection?


Demetrius, The Protector

“To love for a vampire is to risk pain if that lover is mortal. You would think I would be risk averse to any more pain in my existence, but my Alexander made me simply not care.”
Everything in Demetrius’s eternal life brings pain, but he is willing to risk the assault on his senses for a few minutes of conversation with the beautiful boy who appeared in his club. Within minutes, he knows he would do anything for “his Alexander,” including keeping him safe from his criminal stepfather.

But Alexander will also do anything for him. The boy risks his life to get the cure for Demetrius’s disease from Demetrius’s frightening, legendary Master, The Nomad. For the first time in many years, Demetrius experiences life fully, including the satin of Alexander’s skin and the rich taste of his blood.

hourglass-iconBut his Seer, Babette, starts making dark hints about Alexander’s future, and how it may be short. Demetrius knows he must seize every moment with his new lover, for it may be their last.

Raythe says…

I find vampires an evergreen subject for stories. I can’t read enough of them and I can’t write enough of them. There’s something so innately romantic and sensual about vampires that there’s no end to finding something new to write about. Or something old to write about with a new twist.

Vampires owning night clubs are as old as time, but I wanted to make something new with that so I mixed it with The Fall of the House of Usher. So, Demetrius is a “sick” vampire in that his senses are hyper-sensitive. Noise, taste, touch, smell are all agonizing to him in their own unique way. He owns a club because it brings food to him, but he cannot actually experience all the pleasures of owning a place where the senses are exploited. So it was a challenge that I was eager to take on.


World, Crossovers, & Continuations

Sanctuary takes place in Arkham, home of Miskatonic University, in the same world as the Winter Haven stories.

Corey Rudman (of The Sea / The Merman series) makes an appearance, helping Alexander raid the Miskatonic library for information.

The Ghost Half is a darker spin-off with The Nomad in a starring role, as well as a group of 25 year old Miskatonic grad students.  Alex & Demetrius make cameos.

And great news for vampire lovers… a direct sequel to Sanctuary is coming right after The Ghost Half comes to a close!


Members, did we get everything right in this “Deep Dive?”  What are your favorite moments from Sanctuary?  Post in the comments below!

Non-Members, you can read this completed story (as well as The Ghost Half) by signing up for a Membership here!

If you’re not sure, we answer many people’s #1 question here, or you can check out our FAQ.

14 Responses to Raythe Reign Deep Dive: Sanctuary

  1. Akiraki January 5, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    A breath-taking story in and of itself, I found myself holding my breath throughout each chapter awaiting for the characters next move. Alex is the person many aspire to be, while others wish to find someone like him to complete their life.
    Then, with Demetrius’ frail but powerful being, who would deny a vampire such as him anything.

    My favorite part of this story is how everyone of the characters have a co-dependence on each other where none can make a move without affecting another. This goes double for the relationship between Alex/ Demetrius, and the vamplings who look toward their Master for guidance.

    • admin January 6, 2016 at 1:01 am #

      The co-dependence is really a good way of describing it. Each character has a strength where another has a weakness. I didn’t want Alex to be “weak” all the time while Demetrius was always “strong” but wanted to have Alex taking care of Demetrius.

  2. ImmortalK January 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    My favorite part of the sanctuary story was the Nomad and his mysterious nature. Finding out that he is not only good in the end but also very helpful to the main characters. Having such an important character kept mostly in the shadows and then gradually finding out about his story was exciting for me.

    • admin January 6, 2016 at 12:59 am #

      The Nomad was suddenly there in my head. I hadn’t planned on him at all, but like most things in writing, the best parts are the ones you had no idea about.

  3. klara January 5, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    I think that this story is so awsome because of combination of Alex’s sweet nature, passionate and mysterious Demetrius and of course because of Nomad’s quirkyness. I can’t wait for sequel to start!!! 🙂

    • admin January 6, 2016 at 12:57 am #

      That is an excellent summary of all the characters! The mixture is really fun to write.

  4. BuddhaAli January 5, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

    Sanctuary is amazing for me on a couple of levels. The “dominant party” in the relationship – Demetrius – is not the be-all-end-all, he’s in a spectrum of both giving help and wisdom and desperately needing help and wisdom. He isn’t the oldest – and is certainly not the strongest and needs reassurance and care as much as anyone does. This very, very human need to touch and be touched, love and be loved in many different ways – from Hans and Isolde, from his friends and equals – his mother and Babbette, to his lover and parent-figure Alexander and the Nomad, form a much more believable and deep bond with his world. I am in love with this story – odd as it sounds – for its depth and believe-ability. Who knew that my favorite characters became so after dying…?

    While I will be the first to admit that obsessive or unbalanced love to an extreme (a stalker or older man with prey or a younger partner) can lead to incredibly sexy and rewarding short stories and novels; having these two incredibly interesting and needing main characters surrounded by others that you deeply love and care about, made Sanctuary and very rewarding read and something the I come back to to re-read often.

    … that being said, there is one serious problem I’ve had with the story from the first get go – SPOILER – knowing how much we learn about both how the Nomad was in the beginning – cold, calculating and very dead inside to most things beyond Demetrius, and how he is becoming in ghost half, it seems grossly out of character that he would kill some innocent random club-going woman in front of the fledglings he knows and loves – Alexander’s first example to the deadliness of vempires? Or that he would kill the woman… ever. Yes, if she was a gun-wielding threat, sure. But she wasn’t anyone at all. It was never ever explained and has bugged me for a really long time. It would be cool if she was ret-conned into being some witch-vampire-hunting spy that had snuck in and the Nomad just used her as a snack because she would’ve harmed Demetrius otherwise. That would make sense, but without the demonstrable reason, it stands out as massively out-of-character…The everyone shrugs it off and that bugs me.

    • admin January 6, 2016 at 12:56 am #

      I think you’re absolutely right. My concept of the Nomad changed hugely in some ways from that chapter. Having some kind of explanation – maybe Alex pointing out the difference in him – and the Nomad can say that the girl he killed wasn’t what she seemed. I don’t know if you pointed it out in the chapter comments (you may have come in later). But as to why the others didn’t point it out, perhaps for them, it wasn’t as jarring as it was for you. I normally do get very thoughtful comments about what works and what doesn’t. Yours is one of those!

      • BuddhaAli January 7, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

        Thank you so much for responding, Raythe! And I think I started reading Sanctuary after it had been around ~ 6 months, so I missed being able to talk specifically about that issue in the comments as it came up – however its one of those amazing and honestly magical things that your site does where we can have meaningful conversations about a story, before, during and after its writing and I love being part of the process. Tho I’ve gotta say its sure hard to polish diamonds!!!

        What gets written here is unabashedly first-drafts. I love it, and am cool with that. Stream-of-consciousness from Raythe is pure magic, and the ideas are AMAZING. That’s what makes this so much fun!! Yeah, there’s typos. Congratulations no spellcheck is perfect and at the rate you deliver, I can’t imagine when you find time to sleep. But rarely – very rarely – are there serious plot holes. The most I’ve gotten to poke at were small differences in storytelling and the occasional thing in need of explanation. Overall, the stories are tight and the characterization is clear as a bell. Its an honor and a privilege to be part of the process!

        :3 happy beta reader (?) is quite happy.

  5. lia January 6, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    When is The Ghost Half finishing and Sanctuary 2 starting

    • admin January 6, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

      I can’t say exactly but The Ghost Half is wrapping up. We are at the big battle. So I would expect to see Sanctuary 2 start by summer if not before.

  6. River Iris January 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    What I like is how fast the story goes. I love me some grand epic, but they take a lot out of ya. Some stories I have to take a bit of time off to digest tbh. I read a lot outside this site, and when I found ‘Sanctuary’ I felt I could read in a few days without getting burned out and have time for the others. I’m looking forward to learning more about Demetrius children/vampiric family. I love each and everyone in this story… well Alex is a bit too sweet for my taste, but that’s good! If he’s too sweet for me, he’s perfect for someone else. I know my wolf Jordan, from Winter Haven for those who don’t know, is a bit morose for some. This site is full of diverse personality types. As far as vampires, it’s a love/’what have you done to my free time!’ relationship with me. Anne Rice is my literary first love, I prefer Angel to Buffy, read more Fanfiction than I care to admit, I had a major crush on Frost from ‘Blade’ as a teenager… I had to edit this comment to not have it go for ten lines. That you did something new with vamps is nothing short of amazing. Can hardly wait on the sequel. ♥

    • admin January 6, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

      This one was written very tightly in terms of story. That’s probably what you are feeling. Ghost Half should be the same way because it handles one problem and done in a way.

      And I’m totally with you about vampires in general. I love writing and reading about them! I’m plotting out the sequel now so hopefully it will be as good.

  7. LADYaoi January 7, 2016 at 2:17 am #

    All your stories are great and all have something different to offer but there was just something special about Sanctuary…it just felt complete and tight? I can’t put my finger on it, it had a smooth sexy pace, you WENT there with the blood aspect (which I LOVED) you weren’t afraid of blood play and the intimate parts were perfect it had a nice build up and just the plot it self felt right and you also left room for more which makes it even better!

    Thank you for writing such a great piece.

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