Saturday, June 13, 2009

Castle Daeva, Vampyre Mist

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
Vampyre Mist
Only for a limited time and only at
Castle Row
Once gone, it may be gone forever

Story written by Freyashawk
but the original concept of this story was imagined by Wolves Bain

The Fear by Wolves Bain

One day while relaxing outside my home, I spotted a figure on a horse in the distance moving slowly towards me.

A man in my position has made many enemies as well as friends. I cannot afford to be careless. I therefore was about to set my wolves on him when I realised he was nothing more than a child, a boy of 12 years or so.

As I allowed him to approach, I saw more clearly how frail and weak the child was, barely able to hold himself in the saddle. In fact, when I addressed him, he swayed and fell from his mount.

I called for my servants. They cared for him but it was a week or more before he regained his strength enough to speak.

The boy explained that he had been sent by his master on a quest to find me in order to build a castle to his specifications and he handed me a parchment with drawings and measurements.

I told him not to worry about it now, that when he was well I would send him back to his master with my answer and price. Rather to my surprise, he turned pale and began to shake uncontrollably.

'Are you ill?' I asked, then rather sternly added, 'I told you to recover your strength. There will be time enough for this business later!'

His words tumbled from him then in a rush. There was no mistaking his fear and dread now.

'Please, Lord, I do not wish to go back! I beg to stay here with you. I will work for you free of charge and do anything you ask, but please do not send me back to him!'

What could I do? I did not know why he did not wish to return to his Master, but the fear in his eyes was undeniable. I am not one to pry, but I told him he could stay.

He became my best apprentice and builder, but that was over eighty years ago. The boy who came to me has since grown old and passed on to another place.

Finding the parchments with his Master's plans sketched upon them, in studying them idly, I remembered again how terrified the boy had been and thought to myself, 'What kind of home is this?'

There was no way to see in and, on the first floor, there was no way to see out either. Beyond that, though, something that struck me even more: a very detailed crypt had been planned. In this crypt were cages... but to house what or whom? Animals or perhaps human beings?

I slowly began to understand why the boy was frightened: perhaps this was to have been a home for one person, but for others it would be hell.

Remembering the boy, I made a decision: I would build this castle! I would build it for the boy who came to me in fear for his life and I will call it 'The Fear'.

But be forewarned! If you visit 'The Fear', you may never return.

'The Fear'
Now Available at Castle Row

It is NOT for the prim-conscious

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Freyashawk's Promise

This came about as a promise to a young boy... to deliver his people from oppression by taking the sacred relics of his ancestor to the top of the highest mountain. In an ancient legend, it was foretold that, should the bones of the Warrior Child be given a resting place on the peak of Mt. Petra, the earth itself would rise to throw off the yoke of those who had invaded and occupied the homeland.

I am a Valkyrie, and my duty is to the All-Father, to bring the souls of heroes to Valhalla that they might fight for the forces of good in the Last Battle. My duty is not to humankind. I am a servant of the gods.

And yet, when a young lad lay dying in a faraway land, his tears of despair pierced my heart. No trained warrior he, but the blood of ancient heroes ran in his veins and he had sacrificed his life to find the bones of his Hero ancestor that he might bring an old legend to life.

I flew to his side, though his soul was not destined for Odhinn. His purity and his determination drew me inexorably to him. His tears were not for himself. He had no fear of death, except that it would kill the quest to which he had given his own life. What possessed me then to take his task upon my own shoulders? His land is not my land. I cannot be tied to the causes of humans that shift from age to age.

Despite all this, I could not allow him to die in torment. I knew at once that only my promise to fulfil his quest would allow him to die in peace. The bones were wrapped in coarse homespun wool, the best this child had no doubt. As I accepted his burden, the boy surrendered at last to death.

I traveled throughout the world, searching for one who could bring life again to an ancient legend. Thus it was that I found the Wolves Bain, great among mortal builders, a fitting choice to build the shrine of the Warrior Child. The boy had told me the legend of his people, how the tomb had to be built of purest marble capped by a perfect dome.

When the shrine was completed, I saw it and knew my promise had been fulfilled. Nor is the shrine only a place where the bones of the Hero of old will bring forth hope for the oppressed. Beneath its foundations is a small chamber at the site of an ancient spring. There I myself laid the young boy to rest.
May his sacrifice not be in vain.

Note by Wolves Bain: This story was writen by our own group member Freyashawk Dagger. When I read it I knew I had to build it. I just hope I did the story justice.

Story by Freyashawk, Castle by Wolves Bain

The Refuge

The Refuge and the Star Stone

It was nothing more than a charred pit with a lump of metal in the centre. On the night that the child was born, the star had fallen from the sky, burning a clearing into the ancient forest. The father was advised by his soothsayer that the child would be his undoing. ‘He will bring an end to your rule!’
The man was a tyrant who ruled with an iron fist. When his wife heard the prediction, she sent the child away with a trusted retainer, wept over a tiny empty coffin and acted like one bereaved. In fact, she was bereaved, for she would be denied the joy of nursing and rearing her firstborn… The child and his guardian had escaped through the gates at the very moment the father's proclamation was announced, condemning his child to death.
When the child was sent to safety, the retainer bore as well with him a letter from the Lady to the renowned builder, Wolves Bain.
‘I will do it,’ Wolves Bain told the old man who knelt before him after careful thought.
In the clearing created by the fallen star, ‘The Refuge’ was built with a piece of the fallen star set into the floor at its entrance. To any one who approached, the building appeared to be almost a solid block of stone. The doors would not yield to any but the owner. Neither battering ram nor enchanted words could penetrate but when the young child placed his palm upon one of the double doors, they would open easily without a sound.
Windows there were none, or at least that was how the building appeared to any one outside the castle. Nothing would betray the child’s existence to hostile eyes. From within, however, the windows soared in intricate splendor, delighting the child and giving him hours of pleasure as he watched the creatures of the wilds play, unsuspecting of the presence of humankind.
From the metal fallen from the heavens, the aged retainer forged a cunning blade of pattern-welded steel. Renowned as a smith long ago, he had chosen instead to serve his Lady and her son, knowing her child would be the one to save the lands from tyranny. The Lady was a sword mistress in her own right, nor would she deny her son either her love or her training, despite the risks. She visited ‘The Refuge’ secretly as the years passed, teaching her son a love of justice as well as expert swordplay. When she returned inevitably to the royal palace, she marked the hours until the appointed hour of deliverance.
At the boy’s own request, the pattern-welded sword had been placed on a low table in the centre of the upper floor the castle, wrapped in a wolf skin. Each day at dawn, the boy would climb the twisting ramp to take the sword in hand and practice all the techniques he had been taught by his mother. Each day at dusk, he regretfully would wrap the blade once again in the pelt of its guardian, shaking his head.
‘What do you seek?’ the old servant asked him one day, after watching him execute a dazzling set of manoeuvres. ‘Your skill is exceptional!’

What more can you desire?’
‘I am waiting for the sword to teach me something that belongs to this blade alone,’ the boy responded quietly.
‘You are wise beyond your years, young Lord,’ the retainer declared.
‘If I have any wisdom, it is due to my mother and to you, good friend.’
The day finally came when in the midst of his practice, the sword appeared to take on a life of its own, dancing and weaving in his hands like a sliver of moonlight. The boy was 16. He had mastered more than the art of the sword. He could speak to each creature of the forest, charm any bird from the sky, match the speed of a cat and the cunning of a fox. He could bind any wound but had the strength and will to dispatch any who suffered without any hope of recovery.
When his mother next visited the Refuge, she brought another horse with her.
‘But how did you know, Mother?’ he asked.
‘How could I not? I am your Mother, after all,’ she replied with some amusement.
When he rode through the gates of the Royal Palace, the soldiers on guard threw down their arms. Rumors flew of the return of the Young Lord. Women and children ran to greet him with flowers and garlands and in every Church tower, the bells began to ring.
The tyrant watched his doom approaching, recognizing the boy he had believed dead. A coward at heart, he fled into the Forest, pursued by the sound of the bells in every tower as they rang with jubilation at the liberation from tyranny. He fought his way through brambles and thick undergrowth, startling birds from the nests as he passed, cursing and swearing at all that obstructed his path. At length, he found his way to the clearing.
When he beheld the castle, he summoned the last of his strength, but when he reached the door, it would not open. He could find no lock, but the door would not budge. In a rage, he hammered upon it with boulders and sticks, at length thrusting his sword into the crack to pry it open. The blade snapped but the doors would not yield.
Night fell and with the darkness came the howling of wolves. The tyrant shouted his curses upon the castle that refused him shelter, cursed the forest then and all who dwelled therein.
Foolish man, to have broken the blade that might have served him! No longer howling, the pack surrounded the enemy of the Forest and enemy of his own people in absolute silence. The man hurled himself against the doors in one last attempt to find protection, but to no avail. As he shouted and cursed, the leader of the wolves silenced him efficiently, tearing out his throat in a fluid motion.
At Castle Row, Wolves Bain smiled quietly… ‘The Refuge’ was one of his more satisfying works. A castle that can discern between the innocent and an enemy of mankind and animals alike is far more than mortar and stone…
This story written by our own group member
Freyashawk Dagger

I truly thank her for allowing me to use it

Story by Freyashawk, Castle by Wolves Bain

'Awakening' by Wolves Bain

One of my favourite castles is 'Awakening'. I made a video about it on St. Valentine's Day. You will find it in one of the older posts on this site. The true story of 'Awakening' was written by Wolves Bain, however. Here it is:

In a nearby village, there is a tavern that I frequent.
I went there one evening to enjoy a small brew, some mutton and perhaps the company of a woman. A man who was disheveled, nervous, and carrying a large amount of parchment approached me there.
He asked if I were Wolves Bain, the castle builder. I asked him why he wanted to know. He said he had drawings for a castle, but he had to know if I were Lord Bain.
I told him, 'I am he, but I am not in the market to purchase these drawings.'
He responded, 'Purchase? No M'Lord, I am giving them to you free of charge. In fact, I will commission you for this task on one condition: that I supply the stones, the wood and all materials. You see, these stones are to be reused from another castle and built in strict accordance with these drawings. It is imperative that they be built to the exact and precise specifications shown in these parchments.'
He then proceeded to tell a tale of a love eternal between a Master and his Mistress and how they vowed to love each other forever. One evening she was stricken with an illness for which there was no cure. In her last breath, she vowed that in 100 years' time she would awaken to start their life anew. She made her beloved promise to wait for her, and so far he has.
It now has been 99 years that he has kept her body in his chambers, keeping vigil each night until the day of her return. In that time, the castle has gone into decay and ruin.
My job is to rebuild the castle as it was so long ago and have it ready for her awakening.

Will you be there for the awakening?

The ‘Awakening’

Now at Castle Row

199 prims, 30x47 footprint
second level next to Parisa

Story by Wolves Bain

Redemption, The Story

I often take long walks, so long in fact that I sometimes wander for days... it was thus that I came upon a building unknown and yet familiar somehow, peeking through the mist. As I stood bemused, the door opened and a woman stepped out to greet me.
'Welcome home, Lord Bain,' she said.
I froze for a moment, then told her that surely she had confused me with another.
'You are Wolves Bain, are you not?' she retorted.
At that moment, I no longer was certain even of that. As for home?
'My home is far from here,' I told her.
'You were born here,' she told me firmly, 'and you must stake your claim here that all may be laid to rest finally. We long have awaited your return.'
I told her she had to be mistaken, that our family was poor. I had been born in a shack and we had survived only on the scraps my mother stole from the kitchen in which she worked.
'Yes,' she replied. 'That kitchen is here, and this is your father's home.'
I stared at her, then declared, 'No! My father is not a lord. I know my father. He taught me many things. He is the reason I am who I am today!'
'The man you call father taught you well,' she agreed quietly. 'He taught you to fight and never to fear and he taught you good manners as well. He taught you that you were different from those who surrounded you, that you were meant for something better, did he not?'
I nodded.
'That man was a good man,' she continued, 'and he was a servant of your father who was Lord of this Manor. It was his task to guide you and to prepare you for this very moment.'
'What of my mother?' I cried. 'Why did he leave her to live in poverty if he indeed were master of a place like this?'
She replied, 'That woman was not your mother. She too was a servant here.'
'Enough!' I cried, reaching for my dagger, determined to put an end to her lies then and there... but then I remembered my childhood and my mother's insistence that one day she would tell me something that would change my life.
'What must I do now?' I asked the woman standing before me.
She told me all I had to do was to say: 'I claim this Castle as my own!'
I spoke the words and as I did, she faded away into the mist, along with all the contents of this home as well as the answers to many questions, one of them being: Who was my real mother?
Perhaps I never shall know...

72 prims 30x30 footprint

Story and Castle by Wolves Bain