Saturday, June 13, 2009
Castle Daeva, Vampyre Mist
I might have dismissed him as an ordinary drunken sot were I not practiced in discerning that which is hidden to most.
He had been handsome once not too long ago, but the curse had him by the throat and burned with a flame that soon would reduce all to ashes. What would remain would be something entirely other... It was Springtime in the world, but the man who sat there in the corner was fast becoming a creature who would be deaf to the soft murmur of a nesting dove and unable to feel the cool refreshment of dew-laden new grass.
Touched with pity and, dare I admit it, the dark allure that any of his kind inspire in us, I accepted his invitation and took the seat across from him.
Why did he choose me? Was it the instinct of the spider who must spin a web to waylay its prey or was it the desire not to be wholly forgotten by his own people? Whatever the reason, he told his story to me. This then is his tale:
My life had ordinary beginnings, born in Naples of what might have been called peasant stock once. my father was a stonecutter and my mother a cook from Spain. Both worked hard to support their families. For all my respect and love for them, I always felt I was destined for something different, something altogether more extraordinary.
I saw education as the key to freedom and studied to become an archaeologist, a profession that allowed me to travel throughout the world, exploring diverse cultures both of the past and present.
It was at a dig near Tarquinia that I made a bizarre discovery that proved to be an omen of my future. It was a human skull with fangs.
In my desire to rise far beyond my humble beginnings, perhaps I was inclined in my youth to scorn the old folktale's as 'peasant superstition', but ironically it was my education, both academic and practical, that gave me new respect for old legends and myths.
The discovery of the fanged skull fired a new passion in me and I became obsessed with a quest to find every Vampyre source that existed, whether among the bones of the past or the shadowed alleys of the present.
I journeyed through Asia and the Americas, through the jungles of Borneo and the steppes of Mongolia but it was when I returned at last to my own homeland that I finally came face to face with the elusive race I sought.
It was not in the course of research that I met her at last, but in a local tavern in Livorno. The place had nothing in particular to recommend it apart from its ability to satisfy the hunger and thirst of a man who had spent long hours grubbing in the soil for remnants of a vanished civilization. Like the sudden appearance of a bright star in a sky overcast with clouds, her entry dazzled and changed the quality of all that surrounded me.
Legends speak of the power of glamour possessed by vampyres. The head of Clan Daeva was beautiful and seductive... but more than that, she exuded the power of one who can beckon without ever doubting that she will be obeyed instantly.
I know now that there are many Vampyre clans but even among Vampyres, Clan Daeva has a dark reputation. Emotional and sensual, they aspire to heights of passion unusual even for the undead. Sexual predators and sensual hedonists alike rule the clan. Those who hesitate to embrace the darkest vices of the flesh lose their Willpower in doing so. Should they continue to hesitate, in an ironic twist typical of the Daeva, they ultimately will be relegated to the role of servants to the human race they hold in some contempt.
The Succubi is a creature known to humankind for aeons and the Succubi exemplifies Clan Daeva. Irresistible in the power of lust, sucking the very marrow from the bones of mortality... and she was the Mistress of all Succubi.
Immortality has a tendency to create a jaded outlook on existence. Apathy and entropy of the senses are a natural effect of longevity. Clan Daeva strives unceasingly to combat this by its energetic drive towards the life force in its more bizarre and twisted manifestations.
Where some ancient Vampyres sink their fangs into a vein only in order to prolong their existence, members of Clan Daeva do so with ever-regenerated lust.
It is for this reason that they are drawn towards couplings with mortals. The blood of our short-lived, passion-dominated race is like an intoxicant to the ancient Daeva. If we are their slaves, they nonetheless surrender willingly to their own bondage to the lust we engender in them. Some of us are sucked dry in a night and cast aside, but those who excite them most are allowed to taste the blood of the Immortals.
Many Daeva embrace mortals to whom they have become attached, but the attachment almost invariably proves false, a mixture of animal lust and simple hunger.
Few relationship are as euphoric as those between Immortal Daeva and newly embraced mortal Childe and few grow cold as quickly. This knowledge glimmers darkly at the edge of every moment of ecstasy I have experienced with my Maker. For I am a childe of the Daeva, one of the chosen few who has sipped from the Immortal vein.
Yes, I am her Childe but like any Childe, much was denied to me still. There are places to which I never had been admitted and chief among them was Castle Daeva, the ancient inner sanctum of the Immortal Clan Daeva.
Jealousy and the ever-increasing thirst for knowledge vied with one another in my soul and both induced a sort of madness in me. In vain did I beg and endure all manner of subtle tortures, humiliations and twisted acts in the hope of winning that final proof of her favor. Yet she would not extend the ultimate invitation to me.
One stormy night I determined to force the issue. I stood outside the gates of the Castle, calling out her name. As dangerous as this course of action might be, I knew that my position as her current favorite prevented the guards from dealing out the usual punishment for a Childe's impertinence. I was past caring. It was jealousy that was paramount now. Tortured by the thought of any other soul who might be allowed into the inner sanctum, nothing else signified to me.
The Castle of the Daeva towered majestically overhead surrounded in an eery mist. I felt as insignificant as an insect as I gazed upward at it. Its facade was unyielding, revealing absolutely nothing of the extraordinary secrets and mysteries it held. My burning need to penetrate its walls blinded me to everything else.
How long I stood outside the barred doors of the citadel I could not say, but my voice grew hoarse in shouting her name and ultimately diminished to the merest whisper. Yet I continued to gasp out the name of my Maker as the blinding tempest battered my body and despair took hold of my spirit.
When she at last appeared out of the mist I was at a point where reality no longer held any shape. Was it nothing more than a vision of my fevered desire or had she finally deigned to hear my cry of desperation?
The touch of her hand brought me acutely to my senses with that peculiar mixture of intense pleasure and sharp agony that characterizes any physical contact with one of the Vampyre race. I bared my neck to her trembling, begging to be used... but she only gazed at me as though plumbing the very depths of my lost soul.
Her voice was almost inaudible, forcing me to focus my attention solely upon her, despite the roar of the wind and rain. It is an old tactic, a Master’s subtle test of the devotion of a slave.
'You are a Childe indeed,' she whispered. 'Like all mortals, you are blinded easily by your illusions. You stumble forward seeking eternal life in the embrace of the dead.
'Did you truly believe it an act of cruelty or indifference on my part to deny you entry to our stronghold? You poor fool!
‘Jealousy burns holes in your vision and you see only the magnificence of our Clan without reckoning the cost. Immortality can be a curse, a slow undoing of the very best that was our legacy as human beings. Ah, yes, we cultivate physical perfection and majesty, incomparable grace and charm but have you considered what it is like to watch the beginnings and ends of all things again and again and again?
‘All that mortals hold cheap are those things we prize the most but which are denied to us save in moments stolen from humankind. I would spare you that... loss.’
'You brought me into this world!' I responded stubbornly. 'I no longer am fully human. I would rather be cursed than be a ghost flitting between the borders of two worlds. And you were not so careful of my soul and being when you first took your pleasure and fill of my blood.'
Lust and wisdom seldom dwell in the same house. If they do, wherever Lust rules, Wisdom is bound and gagged to be a silent witness of the truth.
I should have realized the value of the gift she offered and the price she paid should have been another clue to me. I was driven by my own desires, however, and did not heed her warning.
I strode through the gates without hesitation then. The mysteries of Castle Daeva and the desire to bind myself ever closer to her propelled me that night to ignore her words.
Though admitted into that inner sanctum, I never can be her equal. The irony of it all is that, in taking another step towards immorality, I blindly threw away the fragile spark that was my greatest attraction to any vampire and especially to the Daeva.
Every mystery of Castle Daeva is open to me now and no longer do I see through a glass darkly as a mortal. I see clearly and share now in the thirst for the transient and exquisite spark that winks at the heart of mortality. It draws me like a lodestone...
That thirst is unquenchable, a fire that will burn for eternity. Alcohol, drugs and even blood have no power to slake it.
Yet even now my longing for her love outruns any other desire... but I sense her interest dwindling even as my own immortality grows stronger...
His speech had become slurred as he told his tale. He slumped suddenly against the table as though crushed finally by the weight of a fatigue that spanned ages.
At Castle Row, the doors of Castle Daeva are locked no longer... M'Lords and Ladies, knowing the price, who among you nonetheless will choose to enter?
Visit Castle Daeva
Only for a limited time and only at
Once gone, it may be gone forever
Story written by Freyashawk
but the original concept of this story was imagined by Wolves Bain