The Journals of
Written By: Dawn & Josh Siewert
Art By: Josh Siewert
Edited By: Q
The Graveyard Series
Written By Dawn Siewert
Story by Dawn and Josh Siewert
Characters and original story created by
Jason Mancil, Joe Sousa, Dawn Siewert,
Josh Siewert, and Jennifer Mancil
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Siewert
My Human Years
Fifty Miles Northeast
of Paris France
The Sixteenth of May, 1206
The Seventh Age of Vampyres
The mist swirls around our feet as we leap from the window. The grass is cool, slippery; a sickly-sweet smell is lingering in the air. I can feel Isobel’s pulse racing as we grasp hands and take off across the dark castle grounds as we had many nights before. She insists we must get away and begins to drag me as I hesitate slightly.
The ground suddenly erodes, I trip, and her grasp slips between my fingers. It takes her a few paces to realize as she turns and looks back. Her eyes become huge with fright as she begins shouting at me. The wind howls through the trees muffling every sound her breath tries to carry to me. As Iso looks up, I see her eyes glow as the darkness envelopes her. I scream for her over and over but try as I can to get up, my legs just sink deeper and deeper. I feel the mud strangling my legs pulling me down and physically keeping me from her. The more I twist and pull, the further down it drags me till I am almost completely submerged.
As Iso looks up, I see her eyes glow as the darkness envelopes her. I scream for her over and over but try as I might to get up, my legs just sink deeper and deeper. I feel the earth strangling my legs, yanking me down and physically keeping me from her. The more I twist and pull, the farther down it drags me until I am almost completely submerged.
My screams waken me just as I am pulled completely under. It has been four years since these nightmares began and not one night has gone by without me having this same nightmare. My handmaiden Marie rushed to my side. She strokes my long brown hair, as she has every night since I was 12, when she became my principal handmaiden. She sings the sweetest songs as she tries to help me return to sleep, but today I can no longer rest. It is too important of a day. She helps me up, and then straightens my bed linens. She motions for several of the other maidens to begin preparing my bath. This is the way my day has begun for as long as I can remember My days have been filled with quiet study, teas, long walks, strolling through the villages, drawing, archery and etiquette lessons. My nights full of festivals and mystery. Soon I will be able to delve within the mystery that is kept hidden in the depths of the night. Except for controlled events where I was allowed glimpse into the mysteries the night holds. I was to remain as innocent as possible until Arthur suggested I begin to chronicle my life. Before the ceremony today I should write down everything I can remember from my human life… just in case something happens during the ritual… And since Arthur swears to me NOTHING is going to go wrong, and I will continue journaling of my life well after tonight. There is something in his words that make me believe this. There is something that allows me comfort to know all this will work out fine. Tonight Arthur will come and take me to the grand throne room for my noble siring.
This is my Father. King Renate Udolf Twyford Clovis Lothar Demonte of the Fleur Realm Grand Duke to the Alliance of the Eventide. Though many in his close inner circles just call him King Renee. Though he is not of my ancestral blood, he has always treated me as such and soon we will share a blood bond like no other.
I do not know his true age, but Arthur told me once he is from the 5th age of vampyres, which would make him close to 1000 years old. He is very powerful, but does not flaunt his vampryic power often, though I have borne witness to his strength and rage twice. When I take over as ruler of this Realm, I rule as he does, making all those below me not even aware when I order them to do things, and they follow my every command without comment. Arthur would be the hardest though. As the King’s right hand he is always giving advice. He will follow my orders when I am queen. He can be so uptight.
Unlike Father, who taught me how to enjoy the frivolities in life, he knows how to laugh and have a good time. How to let his hair down around those other would consider beneath him and they accept him as one of their own. I have also seen many try to push him, try to take what they thought could be easily taken. Each one failed to see what was hidden behind his caring and ebullient eyes; his strength and fortitude equal to his valor. He is a great king and has ruled the Fleur Realm since 986AD. He was voted in after King Marcellus Martin Remus was beheaded for poisoning Queen Constantine.
With all my years of studying the various lineages and histories of each realm, I began to wonder if I too will one day be but a few smudges on a piece of paper. Will I someday become a brief story to tell, like King Rolland? He is a few stories in our history books. I find it sad that his story has no end. No one knows what happened to him after the death of Queen Fleur during the Anarch War of 948. Some say he walked into the sunlight, slowly turning to ash, while others believe he until roams the lands, living eternally in solitude. I like to think he slaughtered the men who raped his queen then walked into the sunlight to be with her in the Umbra.
Arthur suggested I begin to chronicle my life. Before the ceremony today I should write down everything I can remember from my human life… just in case something happens during the ritual…
And since Arthur swears to me NOTHING is going to go wrong, I will continue my journaling my life well after tonight.
Soon Arthur will arrive and take me to the throne room. Curiosity got the better of me and I snuck away to peek at the room. I needed to prepare myself for what awaited me. The ritual alter has been placed in the center of the throne room. There are runes carved all over the altar that I am unable to read, though I recognize it to be the ancient Enochian language. The runes are faded from centuries of ceremony.
It is very intimidating to see. The cold stone block that I will be lifted by the priests and laid upon the top. A priest will come in and arrange my hair and arms so my neck is completely exposed for father to drain my blood. There is nothing to rest my head upon. I see the grooves for any blood spilled to pool, stained from prior siring’s and it sends a shiver down my spine. Arthur says if I do not resist, it will be painless and I will just drift to sleep. When I wake tomorrow evening, I will metamorphosis; I will be stronger, faster, and more perceptive. He says my emotions will spiral and come in giant waves. I am ready for the fire to consume me. Drain my blood. There is nothing to rest my head upon. I see the grooves for any blood spilled to pool, stained from prior siring’s and it sends a shiver down my spine. Arthur says if I do not resist, it will be painless and I will just drift to sleep. When I wake tomorrow evening, I will metamorphosis; I will be stronger, faster, and more perceptive. He says my emotions will spiral and come in giant waves. I am ready for the fire to consume me.
It is the secrets to my identity that kept me held back. Arthurs tells me the same story every time, and omits the same key information each time. My human mother, Queen Isabella, was a sweet, kind, passionate woman. My human father, King Phillipe Augustus of France had just lost his queen in childbirth. Arthur tells me often that I remind him of her. King Phillipe was so grief stricken over his queen’s death that just 2 days after our birth, Arthur swayed him with the promise of fortune, power and a legacy for my human brother, Prince Louis the VII, and was convinced to fake our death, so that we could become Vampyre princesses and help fulfill an ancient prophecy.
Since that day Arthur has been a rock for me. He brought us back to the Fleur Castle to live. During the travel back to the castle, we were attacked by shadow wolves. They were trying to take us, or kill us… Arthur has never been able to solve the crux of that mystery. After Isobel disappeared, Arthur told me our story of how and why we were brought to live here. I think he was somehow trying to comfort me, by answering questions I had been asking about for years. He has always had my best interests at heart.
Arthur was able to keep me safe with but a mere scratch on my cheek, but Edward, Arthur’s brother in arms, had Isobel and they were hurt much worse. One of the wolves got a hold of his arm and tore it off. He devoured his foot and Isobel suffered a deep claw attack across her left eye. The third man on their team was the first to be attacked and was left for dead. The house mages tried desperately to heal Isobel but could not. Her eye became a black hole, which some claim is a doorway into the Umbra.
The mages were able to restore Sir Edwards’s foot, though from that day on he walked with a significant limp. His arm was irrevocably damaged. Even though he could no longer fight, Arthur made sure he was assigned to Isobel’s personal guard. Edward and Iso shared a bond that lasted until she was banished. Edward now spends his time in the library taking on the role of researcher.
I am unsure what that job entails but Arthur says it is the perfect place for Edward. He spends his day’s traveling and has not returned to the castle in 4 years. I look forward to catching up with him when he next returns, though I do not know when that will be. I have become quite proficient with the knowledge of every King, Queen, and Duke’s titles, rank, lineage and all written details about their lives. It comes in handy when we are introduced at social functions. I was always paraded around the banquets, and festivals, curtsying, flashing a coy smile, impressing them with my knowledge of their lands and culture. Isobel was there too, but for her it was more of an obligation. I truly loved going to these parties with the excitement, frivolity, the jewels, the gowns and then the presents. Law dictates that you are to bring a gift to the hosting realm. Many would bring the gift for Isobel and me.
My life has been quite different from Iso’s. I Love being the center of attention. We would spent our days being tutored, learning about every subject from Social Etiquette to demonology, as well as detailed information about the realms and the empires that rule them. But while Arthur would help me hone my archery skills, Isobel honed her skills in stealth. I was never able to find her when we played hide and seek, but she always found me.
Iso would rather slink and hide in the shadows, than play and be a part of the castle life as I did. She used to tell me about the experiments they would do to activate her eye. Sometimes I think she made it up, as it just sounded too horrible. She would tell me how the mages would strap her entire body down to a table. They would use these clamps to hold her dark eye open and drop herbs, potions, and even sometimes acids into her eye, trying to activate the darkness in her eye. They theorized that it was a portal into the Umbra but they never could figure it out so they just gave up… Well after a couple of years that is.
There is one thing I know she definitely lied about, and that is Arthur. She claims he used to be the one to take her to the mages and then he would stand there and watch while they did these horrible things to her. I can never believe Arthur would stand by and watch while we were suffering. No matter what his orders were….
For as long as I can remember, I seem to have this power over men… and even some women, I smile and they will bring me what I need. When we go on walks through the villages, strangers have always given me small gifts and tokens of appreciation. At first I thought it was because I was a princess, but many have assured me it’s because of the beauty I bring to their world. It is a sweet gesture and I in turn then give these gifts to the less fortunate we happened upon on our walks to be able to brighten their days.
Arthur seems to be the most immune to the effects. He always catered more towards Isobel than me. I am sure it was just pity. He knew I was more masterful than she at most things, so he had given her more attention. If only she had smiled every once in a while, I am sure the villagers would have given her more gifts. They would have been able to see her beauty the way I could. She was always sulking off in a corner and Arthur, I am sure, did not want her to feel alone. It is the worst feeling, loneliness….After she left; I no longer had to share him. He now devotes most of his time to me. He is advancing my training in Archery and fencing, as well trying to teach me strategy through chess. I am quiet skilled with a bow and arrow. I enjoy the stillness that comes over me just before I take a shot. I don’t really enjoy chess or fencing, but Arthur attempts to make this as pleasurable as possible. He can read me like a scroll, but he is still a mystery to me. I hope to unlock some of his secrets soon.
Drucilla is always trying to interrupt my writing time. She is too beautiful to stay mad at though. Her silky black fur is perfectly groomed from spending hours cleaning herself. She was a gift from Queen Sophia of the Zelophehad Realm five Yule Festivals ago. She was a short haired black kitten and Isobel was given a young gleaming obsidian raven. Niska was beautiful, in his own way, but he was also a little creepy. I always felt him watching me. Drucilla would chase after and attack him whenever they were in the same room together.
It drove a wedge between us. Iso quickly became attached to Niska, I would see her often talking with him in the shadows, but when I would try to join them, and they would stop awkwardly and get away as soon as they could. He disappeared just before she was exiled. I had not given him a thought until just now. I wonder what happened to that eerie black bird.
Isobel and I were always closest just before bed. We shared the same room until we were 10. Arthur would tuck us in every night and sometime King Renee would come in and tell us stories about different realms and families. My favorite story is about Caine and Eleanor. Caine is the father of our bloodline. His true age is incalculable, but we do know that he originates from the first age of vampyres. After the War of the Gardens, Caine left his 6 brothers and sisters, whom just betrayed him and he began to wander the lands for several millenniums. One night, Caine was camping in a moonlit field, when at the edge of the tree line he sees a glow of light and then slowly emerges this voluptuous beauty. Her thick long red hair, curled perfectly around her face. Her clothing was unfamiliar to the land, the material just floated in long panels around her appealing body. Her violet eyes glowed softly in the moonlight. She make Caine’s blood stop flowing for a moment, he has never seen beauty such as this. She is also quite taken with this strangely powerful man relaxing in the grass in front of her. She walks to him and sits cautiously next to him. Without words, he sits up, places a flower in her hair and pulls her close to him. Her beauty sweeps over him. He tilts her perfectly shaped face towards his and kisses her gently. Caine had found his queen, he knew with her by his side he could not fail. King Renee told us that story many times. It is the story of his sire six times removed. She is the original matriarch of our family. Arthur told Iso and I the rest one night, after we got in trouble for sneaking into the secret throne room and were caught eaves dropping on King Renee and the King of the Ahearn Realm and one of their secret meetings, though the memory of what they talked about is something I have not been able to access for many years.
Tragedy befalls Empress Eleanor and her grace was destroyed. Now she remains in a slumber until the end of days befalls us all and she rises once again with all of the other slumbering ancients. Caine’s vengeance caused him to destroy all they had built as King and Queen. Then he left, leaving all the destruction behind for his children and grandchildren to clean up. Now he is a ghost in the shadow, haunted by all those he has slaughtered.
The Fleur Realm is the only realm currently raising human children. During the third age all human kings had to give a human infant to the Vampyre king every 10 years to be raised and eventually sired. Though that fell out of practice after the War of Durden in 1435BC, Durden was a child given at birth. He was raised in our culture and eventually sired by Agapenor. Iso always believed he was an anarchist, a rebel, but I think he was just misunderstood, forced to be something he never wanted to be. He was next in line to be king of the Draconian Realm, but he sabotaged the realm. He convinced all of the younger generations of vampyres to turn on their elders. They managed to take down a handful of our most powerful elders before being taken down. After that war, it was made into law that infants and children can now only be given freely and with compensation in return and no humans under the age of 16 could be sired by anyone.
It was after we learned this story that something from the darkness began to take hold of Isobel and changed her conspicuously. When we use to sleep in the same bed, we’d tell each other every secret we could remember that day until the wee hours of the morning. When we turned 10, we were given our own chambers. That is when we began to gradually drift apart. We use to play games, pick flowers, and have high tea. We could talk and share for hours but that all changed when we were 11. I do not know what it was. She started staying alone or with Niska, most of the time. It became so that we only saw each other during lessons.
Just after our 12th birthday celebration Iso was banished for her mysterious yet horrific crimes. All I have ever been told is that in a fit of rage Isobel killed a Lacone Captain of the Justinius Realm and it that had to be covered up. So they HAD to be send Iso away for her protection. Even though no one witnessed what happened, Iso was blamed for his murder. They used seers to confirm it, Arthur told me many times. They had his body incinerated so no clues could be gained through foresight. Then sent word to the Lacone that he had gone missing during a garou hunt and when they came to search for him all they found was some equipment in the woods nearby. Iso’s disappearance was blamed on her eye. They told everyone she lived in the darkness and they allowed everyone to assume it finally consumed her. I wonder how Isobel will live out her human life; we were both supposed to take this journey together. I find it hard to be separated from her day after day, knowing she is out there somewhere. I know she is alive, I can feel it. I just hope she is safe and happy. Arthur is forever telling me it is for the best, but if only they had let us say good-bye. Why could I not at least say good-bye?
It is difficult to remember portions of our earlier days. Time melds together, memories confused. Iso would tell me that it is because “they” would erase our memories. She was able to speak with spirits who would tell her the missed memories. I cannot remember what we overheard in the throne room that night, but I do remember being there and getting in trouble. Now that Iso is gone I try to question Arthur, but he just goes silent and then walks away. All of our handmaidens, guards and servants never have any answers either. Everyone seems to be afflicted with the same Swiss cheese memory. Arthur has become my rock; despite his aloofness about my missing memories. He is the only Vampyre whom I can trust any more. When I am sad, or begin to Miss Isobel, he always knows how to bring me back, exactly how to make me laugh. He can be so goofy sometimes, which you’d never guess from looking at him. His perfect blonde hair shimmers in the moonlight. His cerulean blue eyes, with specks of gold, a spark of mystery yet you know you can fully trust him. His chiseled nose and chin tells you he is tough. I have seen even the burliest of Jinn punch him square in the jaw and he not flinch. He is part of the elite Kings Guard of the Fleur Realm. He was brought in when he was just 19 years old. For 5 years, he proved himself, during which time he was also slowly being fed vampyre blood to make him stronger and tougher. He was sired after protecting father from an assassin from the Ramla Realm. As comes with the duty of being King, father has made several enemies and Arthur, at the time a mere human saved him.
In preparing me for tonight, Arthur told me the story of his siring. After the attack on father, he was brought to the throne room. Father led him to a chair next to the throne. “How can I repay you, young knight? I owe you my life, so please name your price….” he asked.
“I would like to become your prince and help you rule this realm.” Arthur said this brazenly and with much confidence.
King Renee studies him for a bit. “Sir Arthur… While you deserve to be sired for your bravery and servitude, princedom is not where you belong. You are meant for something much more exceptional. You are a Guardian by nature. You proved this, tonight. I do believe you are destined for my Elite Kings Guard.
“Though, in Order to even be considered for this position you must be sired by my Margrave, Lady Mallory Anne Laquoia, She is a tough old virago. She has served every King that has ruled this realm and that was after centuries of touring many of the other realms. No one knows her true age, but she is rumored to be from the 4th age.
“Do you trust my judgment? Will you serve in my Elite Guard?”
What was Arthur to say but yes. Lady Sofia was summoned immediately. She arrived with flare and flourish, Arthur felt her presence fill the room immediately. Renee quickly explains his request. Lady Sofia looks Arthur over, sizing him up. When she is satisfied with what she sees, and proceeds with the ritual without a word.
This is where Arthur always gets vague tells me that it is just something I just have to experience for myself. It is different for everyone. He did say after Lady Sofia drained his blood, he does not remember anything until he awoke the next evening.
There is Arthur’s Knock… That means it is time….
Deep breaths… Remain calm…..
Et donc la vie commence…
May Twenty-Fifth, 1208
I can feel the blood flowing through my veins…
Spilling into my soul…
Driving me to new heights
It allows me to see everyone’s fluctuating auras… Feel their emotions…
Hear the beat of each and every heart when it is near….
The blood flowing through their veins, making their hearts beat so enticingly. The smell begins to make my mouth water…
When the thirst comes over, I slowly begin to lose control. I can think of nothing but slating my thirst. Arthur is teaching me how to control the urge and Marie seems to always be close by with a cup of fresh blood for me to drink. If she does not have a cup readily available, then she presents her neck for me to drink from directly. However, the taste of warm, human blood is…
So DISGUSTING!!!! It tastes like sour villein wine. Arthur tells me I will get used to the taste eventually. He explained each human taste slightly different. It is dependent on their breeding and diets and that I should taste a variety of people until I find the one type who best suits my pallet. But I disagree. I plan to drink directly from a human in only rare emergencies. There are teas and ways to blend the blood into human food so that you still gain nutrients. My stomach tolerates normal human food, though it does not fulfill me. I could eat our entire cellar of vegetables and I would still be hungry. But when you blend human blood into the food or beverage, then you can gain nourishment from the food as well…
Most of those of my kind cannot eat human food, they will wretch it back out within an hour. My blood line allows us gift of not having to regurgitate the food after a meal. Father tells me this is a gift from the first of our blood lineage, Eleanor. She was of faerie blood. I feel blessed I can have new and interesting ways of feeding without ever drinking from a human. The only downside is that I apparently don’t gain as much strength as quickly as if I drank from the source. What need do I have for strength. My life is in the courts and among the highborn. I am not a warrior. I shall never need to wield more than a bow. I cannot for see a need to drink from the source.
The last fortnight has been spent helping me to adapt and develop my new abilities. One of the new abilities I gained is the ability to see the color shifts of people’s auras. They change with your moods and emotions. This is an ability I inherited from my bloodline. Father says with age comes the ability to control it. You learn how to turn it off and on and how to delve deeper into someone’s hidden thoughts and desires…
A being’s aura is unique to them. Take Arthur, his soul is usually the color of a clear summer sky, but when he lies it begins to ripple and darken to a greenish ocean blue. Some have been known to turn it off completely and to be able to see people normally. For now I must get use to this new way of seeing. Arthur, aware I can see his aura shift, is careful with every word he says and even the tone he uses. His lineage does not allow for this ability so he is unaware how it truly works. No matter how even your tone is… how carefully you choose your words, your aura still shifts. I am not very good at keeping my composure when I see the shifts. He can tell instantly, so he will then avoid me for several hours, so I might forget his lie… I am trying to learn how to keep my composure, so that I can read people without them being aware. Father is fantastic at concealing his tells… He told me this comes with focus and practice. I am really beginning to hate that phrase.
My eldest vampryic brother, Prince Maximillian, finds this ability to be a waste of time. He would rather spend his days practicing the art of dance. His long lean frame provides a perfect backdrop to his muscular shoulders and dark chiseled features. He is always able to find a beautiful accomplice waiting to be pulled into the stories he tells through his movements.
As a child of 12, he was traveling with a group of children orphaned in the Luna Realm. They were coming as a gift for Queen Isolde, in honor of her new union to father. On the last night of their travel, their carriage wheel broke and they were stranded in the Penumbra woods. Father was given notice. He and a small attack party left immediately in an attempt to protect the children. The lupines that live in these woods are known to be quite vicious. By the time father arrived, it was horrific. The children were ripped to pieces, heads lying dozen of hand lengths from their shredded bodies. As Father stepped around the bowels of several children that lay in heaps on the ground. He sees the sinewy bodies of these young children strewn about, and it brings a tear to his eye.
As he makes his way through the broken bodies Father heard a small noise and then was able to focus on a slowing heartbeat. He searched and found a thin, scraggily looking dark haired boy lying, face down barely conscience buried beneath a few of the bodies.
As he lifted him up Father, his arms gave way and another child falls from his arms. Father began to feed the boy his own blood to heal him. When he began to come around and his wounds began to slowly heal Father brought him back to the castle where he continued his recovery. Father made sure to spread the news among the humans that all the children had perished.
As he was recovering Max was given a royal name and title. Prince Maximillian Caderyn Domitius Vitus Demonte of the Fleur Realm… He was given title before he was sired. He is one of the very few royals, in all of our history, to receive this honor.
Max was given a mentor, Lord Reginald Charbonnier. He trained Max in many forms of sword fighting. One of the trainings involves learning dance forms. Max grew stronger, learned many new abilities, but dance is where he found he could tell stories with the movements of his body. Though dancing is not something a Prince can claim as a skill to boast about. He should be gain expertise in leadership, intimidation, strategies and mastering his sanguine abilities. Max has all of these but would rather spend his time mastering dance than any of his important talents.
Father sent him to England when I was twelve to try and improve Max’s diplomatic skills and the relations among our realms. The human nations had been battling for some time. This causes tensions among our realms. Max and I write each other often. He was the one who helped me most through Isobel’s banishment. He returns tonight, just for my coronation. Marie told me he is bring a lady home with him to be his future princess. I am excited to meet her. She must be a special being too have gained Max’s admiration.
May Twenty-Fifth, 1206
Half a night’s travel
Northwest of Fleur Castle
Tonight begins my coronation festival. It is to take place in my favorite place in the whole world, our private garden, The Thymesage Gardens. It is a quick half night’s travel from Fleur Castle. Arthur or father use to take Iso and me here to play when we were young. Father was very thoughtful to plan this festival here. There is a small Chateau here where our most prestigious guests will stay and our other guests each have their own opulent tents spread throughout the gardens, in a circle around the main tent.
The first night will begin at sunset and the celebration will last for five nights. Many royal families have traveled from various realms, or sent representatives. I was told that King Dominic and Queen Sofia of the Shadow Realm arrived last night and were settled into their private chambers. I am so excited to see them again. Queen Sofia always shares the best stories that often hold some underlying meaning that I’m sure to understand one day. Last time she told me about a Brujería who knew of life magic. She could bring any person or thing back from the dead with just a touch of her lips and she can kill you or it with a flick of her hand. There had not been any being who had crossed her path that could best her in a fight.
One evening, a beautiful virginal looking man rode up to her on his unicorn and challenged her to a duel. Should she win, his life would be in her hand. However if he won she owed him a kiss, a kiss that would make her his queen until the minute he takes his last breath. She was arrogant and accepted his challenge. With a conceited flick of her wrist she attempted to send him to the undead, but her power had no effect over him. He walked slowly towards her, his sword drawn and pointed towards her. She began to panic; trying repeatedly to kill this man she could not conceive why she had no effect on him. She began to back up, until her back pressed against a tree. His slow stride finally brings him close enough to press the tip of his sword to her throat, no one had ever managed to get their sword even drawn from its sheath… she had no choice but to surrender. He lowered his sword and pulled her close. She held up her end of the bargain and began to kiss him deeply. It was the most passionate kiss either had ever experienced. As she pulled away she was ready to be his queen. But as her gaze turned down upon him, he began quickly aging… shriveling into a very old man at an astonishing rate. They fell to the ground as her strength was not enough to hold him up. Tears begin to well up in her eyes. With his last breath, he thanks her for releasing him from his curse and slips off to the undead plane with the memory of her kiss on his lips…
That’s it. That’s the story. It is a beautiful story, but I have no idea what her point is. One day I am going to write her stories down and try to determine the meaning or lesson she was attempting to impart. Until then I love listening to her tell them. She is so animated and lively. She reminds me some of Max’s new lady luv. I met Lady Jesica on the evening after they arrived. She was so exuberant, so fresh. Her father is the Grand Duke of the Edmead Realm. Their union would help ease the tensions between our realms and would elevate her status. She seems quite taken with Max and he her. I did not see his eye wander once during our dinner. In fact they had the most romantic moment during our dinner. Father had the local troubadours to play a lovely tune for us to enjoy. As we swayed to the melodic tune, Max reached over and took Jesica’s hand gently and pulled her to her feet. They fell in to the rhythm of the music and danced as if they were the only two people in the room. Their bodies spoke of the sensuality that flowed between them.
They received a round of applause upon finishing. Jesica was slightly flustered but Max had no shame. Almost everyone congratulated them as they took their seats. Yet Queen Isolde seemed annoyed briefly, before joining everyone in complimenting them.
After dinner I wanted to show Jesica the rose gardens. Max asked Arthur joined us. Max and he grew brotherly after Arthur was brought into the castle. So naturally they begin chatting and catching up. This gave me a chance to get to know Lady Jesica better.
“How are you fairing being so far from your family?”” I inquire.
She pauses a moment before answering, then answers thoughtfully, “Being apart from my family I rather common place. My human years were spent away from my family at school in Rome. That is where I met my sire. After he chose me and I was embraced. I was always off on some emissary mission or other important realm business, I was rarely home. It was by mere accident Max and I met at all. I was sent home to retrieve important scrolls that I had unfavorably forgotten. I was on my way back when I ran right in to this tall dark and handsome stranger.” She looks back at Max and her aura glows brightly with love.
“He distracted me so long, I almost missed my appointment. He awakened something in me. I finished my business and refused my father’s wishes to send me on another mission. I came right back to the castle and began spending as much time as possible with Max. I sought Max out, which my father deeply disapproved at first.
We would spend hours during the daylight sitting by a fire in my Manors basement, talking about our lives and what it is like growing up in such strange circumstances. He is a wonderful negotiator and has done wonders to help calm tensions between our realms.”
She pauses, looks around briefly then whispers excitedly “My sire, Lord Dudley, changed his mind though eventually and…” she hesitates but the excitement within her cannot be contained, as she blurts out, “I have been gifted to Max. We are here to work out the details with your father. King Alexandir Dinev and Queen Evandros Dinev will arrive the night before festivities begin. They will be staying on and under the next full moon… We are to be eternally bonded through blood.”
I squealed and hug her. “We have so much to plan. I know just the gentleman to design your gowns. He is inventive, imaginative and just brilliant when it comes to designing the most flawless of gowns that are perfectly suited to your personality. “
“We must start planning immediately after my coronation. I’m so glad to have a new sister.”
We continued on discussing a myriad of ideas about what she desires for the ceremony, guests that must be invited and she tells me more about her courtship with Max. When Arthur and Max catch up to us, he admonished her for giving away their secret so easily, but he is only upset with for a second. How could he stay mad at such a sweet and beautiful woman?
She retired with me to my bedchambers just before sunrise and we stayed up all day discussing her upcoming ceremony, and then all of the events we were to attend over the next five nights. She just had to see me model my dresses.
I have a different dress for each event, each more extravagant than the next. The first is a simple violet shift dress. It is made from the finest of silks, which were given as a gift from the emperor of the Zhang Realm. They are our only eastern allies. The Empress Daiyu Liqin Biyu Shuchun Zhang had the dress made for me by one of their master dressmakers. He has designed a dress or coat for every Fleur realm coronation since its founding. The simplicity in the design is what provides the beauty in this dress. It fits me perfectly, hugging my curves beautifully before flaring out to the floor. The sleeves are like giant bells that flow well past my fingertips. It is quiet light and flutters ever so gracefully.
The ornateness of each dress outweighs the one before. All culminating to my coronation gown. It is light gold in color. The gown is bejeweled with Amethysts, Copal, Moonstones, Pearls and Tourmaline jewels that balance perfectly to the gowns color. I believe it totaled over a 1000 gems. At least the last time I tried to count. The dress had a gradient effect, with the darkest gems on top, fading to the lightest shades wrapping around the skirt. The headdress is bejeweled with over two hundred diamonds. The bodice has been shaped around my figure. The stiffness of the fabric provide me with a touch of cleavage. The skirt begins to flare out from my hips then falls gracefully to just brush the floor. I have to wear several smaller skirts underneath to keep the fullness from deflating. The sleeves are fitted tightly until just below my elbow where they then flare out until just past the tips of my fingers. Gems line the hems on the bodice and skirt and create intricate floral patterns. There is a twelve foot train that is embroidered with the Fleur Sigil in gold thread.
I have had to spend a month practicing wearing it. It was much easier after I was embraced and I gained my vampryic strength. As a mortal, the weight of this dress was purely exhausting. After a fitting I would find ghastly bruises on my hips and ribs. They would cinch it so tight I fainted several times, and Marie had to hold me upright so they could finish the fittings.
My final fitting was last night and I was pleasantly surprised by the strength I had gained. I had no trouble standing upright, and I was even able to complete my coronation bow for the first time without tipping over. This will provide with a wide array of fashion ideas. I am excited to explore them with Tymn.
Jesica suggested that I wear my human mother’s tiara as good luck. It was given to me on the night of my birth by my human father. I have begun to feel her presence more strongly. As if she is always nearby watching with an approving eye. Each night I wear it, it will serve as a reminder of my human heritage, and feel like my mother is standing there with me.
I never knew my human mother. She died while giving birth to Isobel. Arthur says King Phillippe Augustus, my human father, gave us away because he couldn’t bear to look at Isobel and blamed her for the Queen’s death.
Queen Isolde is the only mother I have ever known. There has always been this aloofness from her that I have never been able to understand. She has so much beauty and grace. She hails from the Svarog Realm. It is in the north, consist of the human region known as Scandinavia. Her human years were spent as a lady of the court for King Harald Bluetooth. Her family was killed during a Viking attack when she was 17. She was away that night and returned to find her village and castle had been ransacked. King Torgeir Reiten, of the Svarog realm arrived to try and protect the village. Finding only Isolde alive he makes her a deal. She was the reason he had come to protect this village. He had been watching her for some time. Her grace, beauty, and diplomatic skills made her very tempting. She had nothing left here now and he was offering to provide her wealth, power, and security. All she had to do was leave Scandinavian with him and pretend she died in the attack as well. She would move to his keep near the Baltic Sea and be prepared for her new future, as Princess Isolde Myrgiol Finna Unna Caecila Vigdis Reiten of the Svarog Realm.
When I was a young child, she would summon me to her chambers. I would sit on the stool by her vanity, watching her finish preparing for one event or the other. The smell of powers and toilet water fill my nostrils as her ladies finish styling her hair. She would then dismiss her ladies and it was the only times I felt close to her. She would slowly run the brush through my hair, manipulating it with her fingers, creating curls out of thin air. She would lose her herself in the moment and begin telling me stories about how she grew up.
She was sired during the next full moon and then moved to the Svarog Castle near Magerøya. She spent ninety-eight years growing and learning from the royals there. She went on many diplomatic missions during her years there. She had worked with father to calm tensions between our realms. During her 115th year, she was given as a gift of peace to the Fleur Realm to end tensions. There have always been whispers of her resentment towards Father, but they have always appeared very happy together. I see how much he dotes upon her, listens to her opinions and honors them. I often hear him credit her for his strength and the beauty she brings to our Realm. She is a proper queen and I have never heard her speak out of turn towards our realm or father.
During these occasions that I can recall how sweet and caring she was towards us, at least in those early years. I always envied her fair porcelain skin. Her lustrous hair color that shimmers of gold. Her sharp, chiseled features are a testament to her inner strength. Her ice blue eyes do make it difficult to read her emotions but I envied her in the way any young child envies their beautiful mother. She used to tell me all kinds of stories about what it was like to grow up in a place that was always cold. She told me it strengthens your core. It enables you to be able to handle, even the harshest of circumstance.
As we got older, she stopped coming around as much and I have only seen her once since my siring. It was the night of my awakening. Everything was resplendent, jagged, effulgent, harsh, so many colors swirling around everyone. Queen Isolde was standing at the end of my bed. She was the first one that came into focus. But her eyes were…
I do not know how to describe it.
They were filled with something a kin to hate… jealousy… envy… and something else my mind cannot place.
As Queen Isolde realized I was beginning to focus, she put on her mask of joy and acceptance. As everyone was departing, she took me aside and gave me a present…
“My vampryic Mother gave me this on the day I was awakened. Now I pass it on to you, my first vampryic daughter. Keep it close to your heart and it should protect you from true harm.” She turned and left quickly.
I examine the gift. It is a lovely oval shape ice blue stone with a miniscule lily somehow trapped inside the stone. I turn it over and peer ever so closely. It appears the flower grew inside the stone. I feel a strange flow of protection run though my hands and up to my heart. I drop it from fright. Father picks it up and drapes it around my neck.
“This is a very special Necklace to Isolde. I am pleasantly surprised she gifted it to you. It is said to have come from the deepest part of her Realm. Many knights gave up their lives to retrieve it. It is truly one of a kind. As are you my sweet. It is time to feed.” And with that he leads me back to my bed where fresh blood awaited.
Tonight’s is La Fête de Premières. As tradition in the Fleur Realm demands, each new Royal coronation is to be celebrated for five consecutive nights. This practice began with King Rolland of Volterra, who loved celebrations and festivals. He created most of the traditions we keep true until today. In fact the first coronation festival was for Queen Fleur, to whom King Rolland named this realm after. It is said he wanted to honor her Grace, Beauty, Wisdom, Vitality and heart for all beings. He never liked the pomp and circum for himself, but enjoyed watching his people celebrate. He created the coronation festival to show Queen Fleur the vampryic ways and each night is a reflection of one of those traits.
One spring King Rolland was surveying the lands he had recently inherited, when Fleur stumbled into his vision, bloody and weeping. He quickly reached her and pulled her up onto his stead, just as the garous came charging out from the tree line. It was four to one and these were odds he was not willing to chance with this particular pack of garous, whom are known to be quite vicious. But his horse was a mighty stead and as the story goes, he outran them and back to his newly built keep before they caught up.
He leaves Fleur in the care of his mages to try and heal her wounds. Her leg was badly mauled and she was losing blood quickly. He summoned his best knights to his side and with him, the nine ride back to the same field where it did not take long for the four garous to show themselves. However they have back up as six other garous step out with them.
A gruesome battle ensued. King Rolland and his men barely had time to get off their horses before the garou leap into action. The visceral sound of bones snapping and crunching beneath the strength of the pack leader’s fist hitting Rolland in the jaw, leaves him dazed for a moment. But the moment was brief and Rolland was quickly back on his feet, sword in hand, slicing and stabbing the garou with skill and experience. He loses 2 men in the battle, though many say one was protecting King Rolland at the last second and took a fiendish clawing. This also allowed Rolland the time to get in the final killing blow.
They carry the dead back with them. Rolland rushes to Fleur, to show her that her attackers were stricken down. This gave her peace. The mages were unable to do much other than stop the bleeding. But she had lost too much blood and was finally ready to allow death to come, knowing her death had been avenged. But Rolland had become too deeply enamored with her to allow her to leave this earth forever, so he fed on the last of her blood then fed her his. The next night she awoke with new strength and beauty. Her wounds had completely healed. Grateful for awakening her, she agreed to be his queen.
On the next full moon, her celebration began. The first night was entitled La fête de premières. During this jubilous occasion, he asked the guests to provide Fleur with a truly unique gift that shows the guest of honor a glimpse of our society’s powers, gifts and culture. The blood and liquor flow freely, loosening the morals of most of those attending on this night.
The Masquerade on the third night is my personal favorite, though I have always been too young to attend, until now that is. Everyone must don masks and not reveal their true self to me all night. I am to spend the evening guessing everyone’s identity, through clues and mannerisms. It is quite a fun game. If you guess their identity correctly they must remove their mask for the rest of the night. They tell me there is a special reward for the one who can guess everyone’s identity. It has only been completed once and that was Queen Fleur. I feel up to the challenge, finally a chance put all my years studying about every known being from every written realm to good use.
It is time to finish preparing myself. Arthur soon arrive to escort me to the main tent. This is going to be a wonderful evening.
May 30, 1208
I am officially Princess Lady Elizabeth Isabella Rainia Augustus Demonte of the Fleur Realm.
The last five nights have been such a whirlwind of events. My mind is still processing everything that has happened. I guess I should start at the beginning.
“Such a shame, Isobel couldn’t be a part of all this”. Duchess Ingrid said to me. She is the first person to greet me during the opening reception line.
Why, yes, you horrible old hag. It is an atrocity that my twin sister had to be banished for what was an attack on her grace and be unable to share this celebration with me. The bastard deserved what she gave him and Iso was unfairly punished but I must play the game and put on my royal mask as I have been trained to do. I hate having to lie and fake my way through conversations with these horrible judgmental sanctimonious ancients, who must be given respect simply because they are some of the oldest known vampires not in temporal sleep. So I smile and mask my condemnation for this horrible old woman and the lies slip off my tongue with practiced ease.
“Why yes, Duchess, I mourn each day without my sister. But the darkness was consuming her. It was for the best.” I dab the small tear the escapes my eye on cue. I bow as she press the gift in my hand and moves on.
Her gift was quite unimpressive. It was nothing more than pair of violet silk handkerchiefs embroidered with my initials in silver dragon thread. It is an adequate gift, but they strongly failed in the unique category as I had already received several other pairs. But I accept it most graciously, and then move on to much more exciting gifts that spread throughout the evening.
Most of my evening was spent in my specially made throne that will take its place in the Fleur castle throne room after my coronation. I received so many gifts, it would take me too much time to catalogue them all. I gave that task to Marie, so that I was free to concentrate on the festivities at hand. I believe she is still working on it as we speak.
One of my favorite gifts I received was a purple silk cloak, dyed to match my eyes. It is from Princess Sereleth of the Draconian Realm. It is made from dragon spider silk and is embroidered with over 1000 crystals and gems. The candlelight sent prisms flying through the room as I twirled over and over again. It is the perfect complement to my dress. The simplicity of my dress was accented by the ornateness of the cloak. I refused to take it off the rest of the night.
King Jack and King Kile of the Svarog Realm performed an amazingly magical mystical medley it is rare for them to perform since taking control of the Svarog Realm during the fourth age. But for me they dusted off their instruments and performed for possibly the last time.
They are my favorite rulers. They personally have come to every festival, every holiday we have celebrated for as long as I can remember. They even come to just visit me twice during the year. Their performance was amazing. They performed a medley of songs, enchanting the audience with an enchanting blend of high and low points. Their music is energetic and melodic. It was so singular; every being in attendance gave them a rousing applause.
Even as exceptional and truly spectacular as that performance was the most extraordinary gift of the evening came from The Mages of the Ursa realm. They performed a ritual that allowed every vampire within the tent to be immune from the effects of sunlight for two hours. To watch the sunrise, feel the warmth on my face, was a true treat. It has been ten days since I last felt the sun warm my skin. I had no idea how much I would miss that. Night can be so cold. The older vampires were skeptical at first, but when the fledglings did not catch fire, they began their way out into the light. The sunlight made their eyes sparkle as the tears flow free. The warmth of sunlight cannot be described to a human. No human could ever understand how much power sunlight contains.
Though I received so many gifts, which I will treasure and remember, I could never possibly keep them all, the rest will be distributed to my human goules as tokens of my appreciation for their devotion. I have a rather small group right now. The number of goules you are allowed is determined by your status, resources, and the number of total humans that live within your borders. These limits are set to protect the human population and to make sure we have a clean, well fed food source. It is of the utmost importance to treat them well. You must keep them well fed, clean, and feeling loved. They provide me with blood as I need it, make my clothing and accessories, as well as provide me with security during the day. Father had to limit the number of goules I was allowed, for in my current station, I only have enough resources to support 20. In comparison, Max has 112 goules tending to his every need. He has garnered his own resources from various trips and missions. This is on top of the royal stipend he receives each new moon from our royal coffers. He has received many titles and rankings through his travels and Samaritan deeds. Lady Jesica seems overwhelmed by the number of goules caring for Max. They are almost always around except when he wants his privacy in his chambers and that there is always someone waiting outside his door to meet any need he might have. They all have their own specific duties and I think Jesica feels a bit in the way. She wants take care of her luv as she did in Lorechester Castle. He was all hers and I think she misses that intimacy they shared.
On the second night, Nuit de la magie du sang, I am lead out to a clearing in the lupine woods and using the power of the stars we begin a spell that will bestow protection on me for the next 100 years. Everyone proceeded to create a pentagram as they began chanting.
A single atheme is passed around for each person to spill 10 drops of blood onto the earth. I am blindfolded and placed in the center of said pentagram. I receive the atheme last. I slice each of my palms open, than with one quick movement I thrust my hands into the earth. The blood spilled by my guests began to absorb into my flesh. It is an incredibly intoxicating feeling.
From this point on, no blood is to be spilled after the completion of the spell until after my coronation. The next couple of nights are spent dry. If anyone is caught spilling, even a drop of blood, they are sent to the Tomb for one year. For some, a single year in the Tomb is no big deal and worth the risk to slate their thirst, but for most, the box is not a place anyone ever wants to see the inside of. It is located somewhere in the southernmost part of this planet. It is a large tower with no windows or doors. The only way in or out is through a mirror in the Justininus Realm.
After the spell is complete, we wander through the woods back to the castle where we spend a quiet evening in the courtyard with minstrels and dancing ladies. The Svarog realm has provided us with performers for the evening. Their skill and grace is unmatched. They swing from the trees on long sheets of glimmering fabrics. This is a true spectacle to watch.
I first caught a glimpse of him as we were wandering back to the castle. I was walking with Marie, as I caught him gazing at me with this piercing stare. He has deep sapphire eyes that catch the gleam of the moonlight. I could feel him watching me, but every time I looked his way he was looking in a different direction. I began to feel as mad as a hatter. I tried to get closer to him but each of my attempts was laughably thwarted. My first attempt to get closer, father pulled me away to meet Queen Dolores from the Urus Realm. When I was properly able to pull away, I spotted him near the front talking with King Jack and I begin to make my way casually, but I think that was my downfall as Arthur pulled me back to be introduced to the Emperor and Empress of the Zhang Realm. After a proper greeting, I tried to make my way back over, but he had disappeared into the crowd. Just as I spotted him talking with Pierre, Marie pulled me away to head back to my tent. I had to change dresses; this one had been stained in earth and blood. I caught his piercing eyes watching me, just as Marie pulls me into the tent. I ducked out one last time, but he had already disappeared again. It would not be until the following night that I would finally get the chance to speak with him…..
The third evening began magnificently. I was doing so well, that by the second hour I had guessed almost everyone’s identity. Everyone’s except for his and oh how I tried… I ran through the entire lineage of all known vampires and even so I could not place him. That only left the ancients who are older than known word, but they are all supposedly in final slumber or perished in one of the ancient wars. I searched my limited knowledge but his identity continued to allude me.
He suddenly approached me to ask me to dance. I mean yes, I was the Guest of Honor, but I could feel the eyes of everyone following our every movement and for a moment I felt so shy. My years of social etiquette had not prepared me for this, for the way that he looked at me. The intensity in his eyes made me feel like he knew my darkest secrets without me speaking a word. There was an aura of passion flowing around him.
I eagerly accept his offer and he gracefully leads me to the dance floor. Time was running out to guess his identity so I needed to make the best use of this moment. Everyone in the room parted way for us to take the center floor and then just stood back, as if memorized.
I wish I could remember more of our first conversation. He had me intoxicated by his manly smell and his skills at the art of dance. He swept me off my feet and had me dizzy. I truly believe he wanted to keep me slightly dazed so that I could not guess his identity, yet. He twirls me around and around, everyone’s faces begin to blur. I hear his words but cannot remember anything he said. Only the musicality of his voice.
The bells began to chime to signify the midnight hour… How had time gone by so quickly? Had we not just begun to dance? I know I have disappointed Father. He was expecting me to be perfect tonight. I had studied so hard. I knew of every guest that had been invited. I turn and begin to walk away but this mysterious man sees and pulls me back in for another dance, during which he asks if I would like to walk in the gardens. “I shall reveal my identity by the light of the morning if you agree to allow me to steal the rest of your night…”
I know my duty was to stay, mingle and wassail with my guests but as I looked around at everyone it suddenly the appeal was gone. All I can hear is chatter and noise. Every interaction felt hollow somehow. It made no sense yet all I wanted was nothing more than to spend as much time as possible with this beautiful stranger, who has captivated me so.
I signal to Marie and let her know of my intentions. She gives me her most disapproving look then turns and as we leave I see her running over to speak with Arthur. He quietly converses with father quickly then follows behind us… acting as my forever faithful guardian, never giving me any time alone.
It was the perfect night for a stroll in the gardens. There was just a slight breeze, which kept the loose hairs that had broken away from my braid, tickling my cheek. I can only half listening to him speak. His melodic voice blending his words together into a wonderful melody. His eyes kept teasing me with this glint and gleam which only I could see. I know if Arthur saw it…. well, he would definitely not approve. He would think I was being too suggestive, but the mystery did not scary me and the man made me feel safe.
He still is wearing his amber dragon mask. It is designed to mask his face and make his steely blue eyes pierce through the eyeholes and speak of his experience and mystery. As we gaze further into one another’s eyes, I see how the edge of his eyes have a firestorm circling the darkness of his pupils. The way he gazes tells me that he sees me as a woman, not as a little girl, like Arthur, Father, and most others in my life do.
“Huh?” I say, startled as I had not heard his question
“I was asking you of your time here as a child. Did you play out here very often?”
“Oh yes… Hide and seek was our favorite game.”
“Our?” he asks innocently.
“Umm yes… I once has a twin sister who was taken away when we were 12…”
Quickly trying to change the subject, I pointed to a small nook inside the bushes, “That was my favorite hiding spot. You could see anyone coming in all directions… Iso always found me though…”
A brief image of Iso chasing me through the gardens floats across my vision. A few tears well up in my eyes, unsure where the sadness is coming from, I attempt to cover it up with a smile, as I blink away the tears.
“I’m sorry for bringing up painful memories” he says very gently offering me his handkerchief.
I smile gently at his kindness, dabbing my eyes then placing the handkerchief back in his gloved hand. As I do our fingers intertwine and it is as if the entire world has slipped away and all that is left is the two of us right here, holding hands.
Without breaking his gaze, I haltingly reach up to untie his mask. He does not stop me, so I continue pulling on the ribbon slightly. It gives way easily and the mask slips off his face. His chiseled features cut through the darkness and are illuminated by the moonlight. We stand there holding each other’s gaze until I hear the crunch of the leaves being crushed under Arthur’s boot, as he spied upon us.
I jump slightly but compose myself, “Come let me show you where I use to sit and study. I think my initials can still be seen in the tree trunk.” I say as I pull him on.
We made small talk about the realm, what it was like to live my entire life in a castle. As we are walking, he reaches and plucks an orchid from its branch and places it gently behind my ear. I can feel his breath on my neck as he is placing the flower, taking his time in doing so. I tilt my head slightly so our lips graze. It sends a shiver down my spine; I quickly take his hand and pull him along for I am afraid Arthur would see something and interrupt us. I begin rambling about the festival and various people that were attending. All of the sudden I turn to him and ask
“What is your name?” Brief, simple, to the point.
He looked like he was almost going to let it slip, but with that damned twinkle in his eye again he replied “It is not yet sunrise, and if you remember our original agreement was for me to reveal it to you by the light of the morning. Come let me lead you back to your chambers, there is only 90 minutes until sunrise.” He says, nonchalantly.
Just as we reached my door, Arthur makes it silently clear that he was not to enter my chambers, by standing just far enough away to give us a smidgen of privacy. I tried again to get his name, and he promised he would reveal it; I just need to be patient. He kissed my cheek, his lips brushing the corner of my lips. Then he kisses my hand, his lips lingering briefly before he disappeared down the corridor.
I wandered into my chambers, my mind only on the memories of the last few hours. Marie began to prepare me for bed, as I stand looking out my window, watching the colors in the sky lighten and indicate the sun will rise soon. The beauty that radiates from the rising sun is hard to compare. Arthur stands watching me, perplexed by my silence.
“Were you able to ascertain his identity?” Arthur asks after a few moments, after it was obvious I was lost in my own thoughts. I really just wanted him to leave so I could spend the rest of my time pondering every moment from tonight.
“No, he MIGHT have given it to me, if you did not feel the need to hover and protect me so much…“ I say accusingly, “How am I ever supposed to experience romance with you around?”
“One day you will meet another being, who will capture your heart, mind and soul and when you are eternally bound, I will be released from my guardianship…” I cannot imagine Arthur never being nearby, “but until that day I will protect you as I have been blood sworn to do. I regret hovering as you claim, but King Renee wanted that information as quickly as possible…”
“Wait… father did not invite him? Whose guest was he then?” I interrupt.
“He seems to have been an uninvited guest, though some rumors that he is a Lord from the Draconian realm. Though this is not yet been verified. It was thought best not to cause a scene at your festival, so King Renee allowed it to continue, until he or I felt your safety was in jeopardy. You spent most of the evening together. What did you speak of?”
I paused trying to figure out how to word this gracefully.
“I honestly could not tell you. I wasn’t paying much attention to his words, just the melodic sound it made….”
“What?” after seeing the look on Arthur’s face.
”Fine, we mostly talked about me. Iso came up a few times but he was quite a gentleman to steer clear of a subject that upsets me. Unlike other men I know… Mostly we talked about my childhood, growing up in the castle and what plans I had for my future…”
Pierre, my personal foot solider interrupts, “I’m sorry for interrupting Princess, but Sir Arthur is needed in the throne room forthwith.”
“Inform the king, I shall be right there.”
“Of course, Sir.”
As he turns to leave, I catch sight of Pierre dropping a note into my vase next to the door. Arthur stays and tries to gather more information about my mystery man, but I convince him that I sensed the urgency from Pierre and that he should really hurry to see Father. I am afraid he saw Pierre drop the note as he tries to delay further but he finally takes the hint and leaves. I close the door slowly behind him before I reach into the vase and withdraw a small folded parchment;
Meet me where our eyes first gazed upon each other and I will reveal my name to you at the light of the morning sky
Your unmasked paramour |
Marie glances at me suspiciously, so I crumple the note and walk to the fire place, casually tossing it in before it can be found by snooping eyes. I pretend to be extremely tired and ready myself for bed. Marie retires to her chambers, still suspicious bur ever obedient and as soon as I hear the door latch, I hop out of bed and rush to the window. I have very little sand left in my hourglass indicating the bells will soon chime for sunrise. Can I make it? Do I dare try? Isobel would go, she loved taking risks. I look out my window. I am on the second floor of the chateau, but I think I can make the drop easily. I climb up on the ledge; take one last deep breath, then step out.
I hit the ground with the grace of a hippo, but I am out and seemingly unnoticed. It is very peaceful and quiet this time of the early morning. But I am wasting time. I gather up my night dress, the pear around to gather my bearings as I begin to move quietly through the gardens. It is time for the changing of the guards, so I am able to easily slip across the grounds undetected. As I approach the forest clearing, I can see his form standing in the darkness. I look back to make sure I have not been seen, and realize I can feel the suns imminent approach.
“I was uncertain if you would accept my offer,” I hear his voice confidently in a loud whisper as he approaches from the dimness of the forest.
“I was not sure I would either, but I took a cue from my sister, thus here I am. Please tell me your name, so I may make it back to my room before the sun rises and I causes a nasty burn.” I look deep in his eyes and catch a small smile forming on his lips.
“You don’t appear worried about the sun rising, Do you have a secret you could share with me so that I may avoid the nasty burn of the sun here in a few minutes?” I was just beginning to realize I had not left myself enough time to get back to my room before sunrise.
“I have many secrets, most you will never know, however, yes. Take my hand.” He reaches his hand for me to take. As I entwine my fingers with his before I can begin to regret coming out here without anyone knowing, the world begins to melt away as he continues, “And I will show you my secret power against the harmful rays of sunlight”
As he finished speaking, we were standing back in my bed chambers. I grew rather dizzy and collapsed into his sturdy, protective embrace. He laid me gently on my bed, kissed my lips so gently. As he tried to pull away, my arms entangled his neck and pulled him closer. He wrapped his muscular arms around my body, kissing me with a strength I had never felt before. As I lie beneath him, he can sense my hesitation. He pulls away gently, looking for my approval. I stare deeply into his eyes and search his soul. Seeing the purity that lies deep within his aura, I nod and he felt all my hesitation melt away.
His fingers untie my nightdress and slowly slips it down my torso. I feel small kisses all over setting my soul aflame. His clothes just seem to disappear, as I open my eyes to see his exquisite physique glimmering in the candle light. The passion I had dreamed of and craved was right before me. He grabs my hips with force; I can feel the control over the power he has. The pleasure is overwhelming, as he maneuvers us around the bed with skill and grace, making each peak of bliss even more intense. I don’t know how we did not bring anyone to my door, as I know I could not contain my gratification.
When I am able to bring him to a final pleasure, he whispers in my ear, “My name is Godfrey, Godfrey of Bouillon.” He doesn’t speak any other words and slips away into the daylight. My eyes fall closed and I sleep peacefully until just shortly before sunset when Marie awakens me. Was it a dream? My head feels foggy, but I can still feel his touch on my skin. It is not until I brush the inside of my breast while I am bathing that I feel and then see a bite on the underside of my right breast. Even though it still seems like a dream, it is good to know my dream was real. I cannot wait to see him again tonight. I hurry to dressed and get over to the main tent…
I spent most of my time over the next two evenings glancing around for Godfrey. I was too distracted to enjoy or remember much of these final two evenings. But I know the events went off without a hitch and now I am the crowned Princess of the Fleur realm. During Nuit de l’artisanat, players sign up to compete for a variety of titles for mastery in archery, fencing, spell magik and many others. Any skills you want to showcase to the other realms. This helps bring revenue to the realm as it allows the other realms to see what you have to offer in goods and services. The Fleur realm has masters in armory, dress making, long bow archery, and blacksmithing.
My favorite competition is the Master Dressmaker competition. Our own Lord Tymn Guinne has won every competition for several decades. His dresses are works of art. I was his model for the night. His creation was the perfect blend of innocence and a shadow of the woman I will become. Its panels floated around me as I moved, the gems creating a sparkly silhouette on the light gold material. He took inspiration from the childhood story father would tell me about Eleanor and Caine.
Tymn is also the one who created my coronation gown and headdress. The entire ceremony went off like poetry. I kept my balance, not wavering once. After I was crowned, I was ushered off to a private blood bonding ceremony. This bonds my blood with fathers and Queen Isolde. This creates a bond that means no matter where I may be, they will always know where I am. The ceremony is in the cramped chapel room and takes place over a humble wooden altar. It has many ancient carvings in it. Each of us cut open our left wrist with, a special runic atheme into the goblet. Then we each drink from the cup, first father, then Queen Isolde, then myself. The ceremony is very short and afterwards we enjoy a large feast in the main throne room. The moratorium on feeding has been lifted and many of our guests began to get a little carried away. They had to remove the royal goules before things got too crazy and they were drained of too much blood. It was spirited occasion. The party began to wind down as the hour approached closer to sunrise. I had a little bit too much to drink and needed Marie’s steady hand to help me back to my chambers. A man bumped into us as we approached my bedroom door. He slips a small paper scroll into my hand, then disappears down the hall before either of us realizes what happened. Marie hurries us into my room. Marie takes her time preparing my room for bed. I even tried to help her but that just made her suspicious so I had to try and be patient. Finally she retires to her room. As I lay tucked into my bed, I slowly unroll the small scroll. To my surprise there is nothing but a short poem:
Look to this day for it is life the very life of life. In its brief course lie all the realities and truths of existence the joy of growth the splendor of action the glory of power. For yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.
What does this mean? I recognize it from my readings. Father kept this book of stories and poems by… I am blanking on the name. I will have Marie go in search of it.
There is no signature, but I believe it is from him.
He was thinking of me today.
There must be a reason why he had to stay away.
I begin to weep as I fear this was his way of saying good-bye.
My tears lull me into a deep sleep.
An untried coterie of seven vampyres are dispatched to defend a humble quarter within the confines of the Mausoleum. Each are singular in their abilities and will have their individual mores tested as they fly in the face of the destructive curses that threaten to massacre the land. This first book will introduce you Princess Lady Elizabeth as she begin to journal her new life as a vampyre. Follow along as she begins her journey into the world of the undead and the supernatural. Travel along as she introduces you to the other Royal Vampyres in her Realm and others beyond her Borders. Venture into the darkness, as Elizabeth battles with her own naivety and the passions and adventures that await her. Desperate to break free of her confined world, Sir Arthur will do his best to protect her from the dangers that she can not fathom.