|This article is about an issue of the Digital Comic. You may be looking for the herb, Vervain.|
|“||How do we know you're not going to cast a spell on us? And why would a witch want to get rid of all the vervain in town? You need vervain for your magic.||”|
— Damon to Julian in Part One
Part 1: Vervain is one of the most common herbs in the American South...so why is it that a plant that grows like a weed is so hard to find in Mystic Falls? The Salvatore brothers must be involved.
Part 2: The witch who cast the original anti-vervain spell is determined to make life difficult for Damon Salvatore and Stefan Salvatore. And the powerful spell he's casting requires someone to make a blood sacrifice!
Part 3: Julian's final revenge promises to make life unbearable for all vampires: all the magic he's accumulated over the centuries will make vervain the most common plant on Earth. But the Salvatores have one more trick up their sleeves...
Mystic Falls, Virginia, 1849. On the night of his 24th birthday, Julian meets with Stefan and Damon Salvatore in the woods under the light of the full moon before a bonfire. Damon's wary about trusting him, as he is a Yankee deserter. Julian believes that he has something they want, and vice versa, so he proposes a deal to the Salvatore brothers. They want the vervain removed from Mystic Falls and he was the witch that could accomplish the task. In return he would need their vampire blood. He wanted immortality. Of course he could become a vampire, but he wanted to keep his magic. His life extension spell required immortal vampire blood and he would get perfect youth for 24 years - one for each year he's been alive on earth. During that period, vervain would not grow in its native soil. However, in 24 years time, the spell would end and they would have to return to renew the spell so he would be able to get another term of life. It wasn't exactly like immortality, but it was as close as any witch would get. They agree to Julian's proposal. Stefan and Damon give him a cup of their blood. Julian begins the spell while the Salvatore brother recites an oath. Once the spell is complete, they'll stay out of each other's paths for 24 years and they will forget his name until they meet again. Witchkind wouldn't love him for what spell he was enacting and he didn't want them going to tell other witches. Julian repeated the cycle with the Salvatore brothers for the next 150+ years, to the turn of the 21st century.
Julian returns to Mystic Falls in the modern era. He meets with Damon at Mystic Grill to discuss the next cycle. They quip about their appearance, not having aged a day since their last encounter. Despite their ages, Damon never grows up. He'd make an "adorable" Peter Pan. Julian calls over a waitress, orders a drink and questions Damon about Stefan's whereabouts. They can't have the ceremony without him. Damon informs Julian that Stefan isn't coming. Julian doesn't understand and questions what Damon means. Damon questions if he has a hearing problem in his old age. Stefan isn't coming and their deal is off. Julian believes Damon to be playing a game with him, but he isn't. Damon tells Julian to hop back on his broomstick and leave town. They're done. Julian believes they won't - can't - back out on the deal, vervain would grow back in Mystic Falls. Damon elaborated that it's the 21st century. They can get vervain from anywhere, in fact he could drive to Lynchburg and come back with a truckload within an hour. Anyone could. Julian's spell is no longer useful to them and they have no incentive to come back every 24 years. Modern times call for modern solutions. Modern spells. Damon proposes a new deal. He wants to go global in vervain eradication. Julian can't do that. He won't do that. He explains that the life extension spell is rough on him as it is. He pays a high price for killing the vervain in Mystic Falls. Witchcraft always comes at a price. Should he enact a new spell, his life won't be worth living. Damon doesn't care and stands to leave. Julian doesn't want him to leave yet; he can't. He stands himself and grabs Damon by the wrist. If he doesn't cast the renewal spell, he'll age and die by the end of the seventh day. Julian wants more time to come up with another deal. Damon suggests an alternative. He could let go of his arm before he rips it off and beats him to death with it. The waitress returns as Julian and Damon; Julian threatens to kill Damon. The waitress interrupts him, asking if something is wrong. Julian lets Damon go and the argument ends. Damon tells her that they're fine, they were rehearsing a play. He's Peter Pan and Julian was the ugly old witch.
Three days later. Stefan and Damon are at the Salvatore Boarding House. Damon tells him that there are repairmen that can repair the roof. Stefan's wary. They might show up in a week or never. Besides he does not want to get the house on the National Register of Historic Places. He just doesn't want the roof to collapse the next time it rains. Their conversation is cut short. Someone bangs on their front door. Since Damon isn't helping, Stefan suggests that he gets the door. It's Julian and the dead waitress' limp body in tow. Damon notices the dead waitress and offers that he didn't order takeout. Despite having aged so much, Damon still recognizes him. Julian explains that he needed something from her. So many powerful spells require blood and he's here to collect Damon and Stefan's. Damon rushes him but a spell knocks him back from the threshold. He loves this spell. The spell he's used has placed wards all over the house, preventing them from leaving until he says so. Julian declares that they will not leave until they uphold their end of their original bargain. Julian gains the upper hand over Damon and Stefan closes in to attack him from behind. Julian, however, is ready for him. Stefan has no power over him and Julian throws him backwards with a wave of his hand. He has drank enough vervain and it's empowered him. He has the herb in his pocket and force feeds it to Damon. He's had 150 years to perfect the art of gathering power--spells for getting what he wants and he's going to demonstrate all of them on Damon. Stefan attempts to regroup but Julian tells him to give it up. By change, Stefan knocks over brass bells, the chime temporarily incapacitating him. The ringing of the bells give Damon and Stefan enough time to make their way back into the attic as Julian falls down the stairs. Stefan's confused. He thought that it was an old wives' tale, that brass bells repel witches. Damon tells him it is, and it shouldn't work. But it does work. Damon understands what Julian meant the other day when they met. This is the price of Julian's witchcraft. Stefan questions if it's great power that comes with great vulnerability. Damon suggests this is where the old wives' tales originate from. A powerful witch is balanced by Nature - susceptible to simple rituals. They don't need to be able to perform magic themselves. All they need is iron, salt and pure water. Stefan finds some brass key; they have their way of escaping. Julian has a loophole for the brass bell. He has an iPod and turns the volume all the way up. Stefan gives Damon the brass keys, telling him to turn them three times to reverse the spell. Breaking the boundary spell, Stefan and Damon break through the attic window and land on the ground. Julian's confused; he wonders how they escaped. Stefan is ready for him though. Hammer and nails in hand, he's figured out Julian's Achilles heel. Stefan quickly hammers an iron nail in Julian's footprint; Julian toppling over. They don't want to kill him now. In fact, he still has a good 70 years left and three days should be the end of him. Stefan suggests throwing him into their dungeon, but Julian refuses. Julian escapes, taking flight through the air.
A few days later, Stefan's working to fix the window they broke to escape Julian. There haven't been any other signs of Julian and Damon assumes he must be dead. Stefan's not concerned with Julian and asks for Damon's help with the window before the storm comes. However, it's too late. Julian arrives and he has aged severely, a decrepit old man now. He's furious with the Salvatores. All they had to do was honor their deal. Stefan admits that was before they knew he was a murderous psycho who spent the next century leaving a trail of bodies. Julian admits he'll be dead any minute but before that happens he has one last spell. The ground of the well house violently explodes. Julian explains that he's dumped a truckload of vervain down the well, their only water source. Damon isn't amused, but Julian shouldn't be mocked. He's spent all these years accumulating power at the cost of vervain. The moment his heart stops, all that power returns to Nature. When it does, he's cast a spell which will make vervain the most common plant on Earth. The brothers relent and agree to honor Julian's deal. Damon believes that he can't do them any real harm, they can keep him under control with an iron nail, or a bell, or even table salt. He'll be a "good" witch from now on. Julian accepts the new arrangement. That night, he casts the renewal spell - his youth and vitality returned. With the spell complete, Damon immediately attacks him, feeding from his neck. Julian believes that the vervain in his system will protect him, but Stefan elaborate that with his magically accelerated metabolism, the vervain has been flushed from his system. Weakened, Damon force feeds him his blood. Damon mocks him, asking if anyone ever told him that the villain shouldn't monologue. They can't let him die of old age, so Damon breaks his neck. After he wakes up in transition, Damon force feeds him A+ blood from a blood bag, completing his transition into a vampire. As a vampire, he's now lost his magical power. His magic aspirated into the ether where it can't do them any harm and he's out of the black magic game. For good. Julian's furious. They've taken his magic away and turned him into a ravenous, murdering vampire. His magic's gone and he feels dead inside. Stefan wants to hurry up and finish this. Of course, he still has a window to fix. Julian's confused. He demands to know what they're doing to him. Stefan asks if he can swim. He can't. To keep him from harming others, Stefan and Damon throw him down the crater-sized well, now full of vervain. Though an inconvenience, Julian's plan was for nought. The aquifer will eventually flush the vervain out, and him with it. With Julian gone, Stefan quips that they need to seal the well and call someone in to drill a new one. Regardless, they need a better pump system, anyways.
- Art by: Tony Shasteen
- Colored by: JD Mettler
- Cover by: Tony Shasteen
- Page Count: 23
- Age Rating: 15+