Introduction – Kindred
“The Time of Judgement changed everything for us. It started with the East. The “vampires” as they call themselves, really just soul-sucking creatures, had three of their most powerful elders awaken.
That was the first sign. Then the other signs started popping up. The Time didn’t affect us, not until the Founder of Clan Ravnos, awoke, and was killed by those damned infernal Mages, may they burn in the fires of Tartarus for what they brought down on us.
With Ravnos’ dying screams, his brothers and sisters were awakened, so.. unfortunately was his Grand Sire, Caine.
Caine began a rampage against all of those who were descended from his blood. He started in the Middle East, and worked his way systematically through Asia, then Europe and finally on to the America’s. By the time he reached America, however, his grand children, with some surprising help from his children, and his teacher, Lilith, had assembled the troops for one final, all out attack against him.
The war was bloody, since that’s all it could be called. Many died by his hand. He was a man possessed, and his possession was the desire to take us down. All of us.
After the long fight, Caine was immobilized and put back to sleep. We thought that was all, until Caine’s three direct descendants, issued this decree, “Kill all those unworthy.” Then they departed. Their children began slaughtering us, en-masse. Many tried to escape, only to be struck down horribly. Finally the only option was to surrender to our fates. One by one, the elder’s went through their Progeny, looked at them for a moment, and fed a meager few a drops of blood. Many were skipped completely, some were embraced as long-lost friends. These last were fed a large drink of blood.
Finally, my Clan Founder came to me. At first she made to walk past me, but then, something made her hesitate. She turned back and looked me dead in the eyes. Suddenly, my entire existence flooded through my brain, and I knew she had seen everything, my wants, my secret desires, my past-times, and my contributions to our society. My entire being in one brief moment.
Then, she bit her wrist, and fed me her blood. I felt an electric charge flow through me, then it disappeared.
At the end after the last of us had been fed, those who were going to be fed anyways, the Founders left, ordering those still behind to kill all that had not been fed.
I’m sad to say, I participated, under the direction of the Manus Negrum, the Black Hand, those who had guarded the tombs of the sleeping ancients until the time Caine would re-awaken.
Only less than a tenth of our population remained, maybe even less than a 20th. I don’t know for sure. A lot had died.
Of course, you would think the worst was over, but then, the troubles struck all the Changing Breeds, the werewolves and such. Their own war was just as bloody, and just as destructive. Others in this great World of Darkness, well, they all succumbed to the Time of Judgement, and all were laid low.
After that, the parties lost their fun, the food lost all taste, life has become meaningless to me. I refuse to be this monster any more. That is why, I have created you, my Childe, and why I now tell you this story, and accept my fate. The sun will rise in just a few short moments, I can already feel the itching on my skin.
No, stay in the shadows, then go back inside when I am gone, you will be safe there until this is over.
Look! I’m starting to smoke. I always thought that was some type of horrible joke, but it’s true after all.
One last thing, do not trust the Filii Noctum! They are not your friends!” Go to Reno, find DARK. Don’t reveal yourself to anyone.
I watched as my Sire, my creator, died slowly by the sunlight, a choice he had made. But it took much longer than I think he had anticipated, and his suffering was great.
Wiping away a single tear I turned and headed inside. I looked down and saw that the tear was blood.
Introduction – Mage
We were left in complete turmoil.
Talos, the mythical Tenth Sphere, was not what we thought it was. The Archmages touted it as that force which divided good from evil, which punished the wicked, and enlightened the good. We were thrilled to see our expected destruction of all those who are evil. The leeches, the changing breeds, the undying – all that which was evil with this world.
Instead it turned against us.
Little did we know, the Tenth Sphere regarded our kind as evil forces as well.
The red star was the sign that it had been discovered. I looked on at the red star in marvel as my teacher in the mystic arts, an Archmage named Pyrrha. She wouldn’t admit it, but I believed her to be old. I mean from ancient Greece kind of old.
She was a kind, fair lady, and well versed in the mystic arts. That’s why I had sought her out deep in the Valley of Fire. It took me years to find it’s location. She was a strict instructor after she agreed to teach me. I had learned a lot.
When the red star appeared, she seemed sad.
One day not long after the red star had appeared, she announced to me. “It is finished.”
When I asked her what she had meant by that, she only looked on me with those sad eyes, and said, “my time on Earth has ended, I will soon be leaving you behind. I hope I have prepared you well, my student. I hope you are ready for the challenges ahead. You will be tested, stick to your training and you should survive. Forget what I taught you and you shall surely parish. With that she handed me a purple, thick, opaque potion.
“Drink this, I have been saving it for you.”
I did this without hesitation. She had never led me wrong before.
“Master, if you must go, answer me one question… Are you the Pyrrha from the ancient Greek myth.”
It had been our inside joke. I knew she wouldn’t answer, she never did.
“My student, it is impolite to ask a woman her age.”
Then, the gut-wrenching pain started. I clutched my stomach, and cried out in pain.
As I fell to the ground, just before I blacked out, she smiled down at me with those sad eyes again. Then she began to glow. That was it, only blackness was all I saw, as the world dimmed around me.
When I awoke, her hideaway from the world was in flames, as it was destroyed before my very eyes. Coughing through the smoke, I ran the only direction I could, thinking it was clear. It wasn’t.
As I fell to my knees the fire moved up to consume me, and although I felt the flesh-melting heat, it didn’t burn me. It left me alone.
When nothing but ash and dust was left – even though I was safe I felt I owed it to her to see her monument burn – I walked out of the valley, and into a world I hadn’t seen in some time. As I walked, my joints started to hurt less, and a spring developed in my step. I stopped by a stream to get a drink, and saw my reflection. I was shocked for staring back at me was the face I had when I was 20 years old.
I travelled the world for some time, never aging, never getting sick or hurt, until my flight landed in Reno. The humans had no idea what had happened, only those of us in the supernatural community had. I had set myself on the mission of looking for survivors, but all I found was destruction. I reflected on the past events and was shocked that we had landed. We weren’t supposed to have a lay-over here.
The Captain came over the radio, “folks, we had to take a small pit stop in Reno, we’ll be on our way again soon.” That was all.
Turns out one of the people who filled the gas had forgotten to fasten the cap, it flew off mid-flight, and we had started losing fuel.
That was when a sense of urgency, a sense that the universe was pausing for something, when a man dressed in a black coat boarded the plane and walked right up to my seat.
“Mr. Smith,” he smiled at the obviously fake name, “can you come with me please, someone would like to speak with you.”
I did not expect this. I followed the man off the plane, some sixth sense told me I should, that he was dangerous, and escorted me to a private lounge. Then, he stood by the door, outside, as the most beautiful blonde woman I had ever seen came into the room by the opposite door.
“Awe, Mr. Jennings,” she said, using my real name, “it’s nice to meet you. I’m Miss Downing. I would like to extend an invitation to you. As you know, you are in Reno, thanks to our intervention. We brought you here to ask you a small favor. We suspect that the leader of the Mages in our town isn’t following his instructions correctly, we sense a subterfuge. We would like you to observe him and stay in touch with us. We will of course, set you up handsomely, and pay you a stipend.”
“Although I’m sure you’re a nice lady,” I said starting off, “I’m on a journey. I should be getting on with it.”
“And how has looking for others of your kind worked out for you. England, France, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Rio, you re quite well-travelled. You haven’t found much left. I can assure you, staying here will prove to be most enlightening.”
How she knew so much about me, scared me just a lot.
“How do you know so much about me?”
“The group I work for has kept tabs on you since you left Pyyrha.”
“And what is the name of this group, just out of curiosity.”
“You’re new friends, DARK.”
Introduction – Changing Breeds
It was an hour before dusk, and our pack had been riding west towards Reno. We held ground close to that town, but the town itself was rumored to be held by leeches. I heard tell, they even protected other tainted things. Our chief, Silas pulled over in Winnemucca, and said we wouldn’t make it on bike. We didn’t stand a chance.
So we stashed them at a hidden carien spot outside of town. I think he must of known. Or else he….
Another pack, of black things jumped us before we could change. Spiral Dancers some are called. I’m sure they were wyrm tainted. I’m sure now I am. Some of them flew, others ran took us on four legs. It happened so very quickly. I was bit. I slipped quickly into the other realm of spirit. They were not friendly towards me.
I made my way out and towards our lands by Pyramid lake. I was the only one to make it back. They said several of the children had been taken the night before, or the night after old Chief who had been dying of cancer for a few weeks woke screaming. He said old evil had awaken and well, as I was the only survivor he said run. So I did.
I went south towards Reno. The bite from the black wolf burned the whole way. When I got into town less than an hour later, I saw young Pete. He was a Newisha I knew, you know friendly like, but not one I hung with too regular. He looked scared, and excited. Said news was Packs everywhere were dying, he said the lizards had been seen again, the sky folk had returned and other things. He said the leaches and the Magic Wild folk also are dealing with disappearing folk and the like. He leaned in and said, rumor has it the wyrm tainted had been hit hard. Maybe it’s why they hit us. I asked how he knew, and he grinded a real sad looking way and said with some pity, there was a way to be safe. Like him.
Just have to get along with them, the others. The vampires, the wizards, the other changing folk, the undying, and such. I had never heard of such a thing before. I didn’t even know their were wizards or undying people, but the bite burned. My pack was gone. I felt real panic. So I asked how?
He said seek the members of DARK in town, but whatever you do lay very low. They don’t take in those who reveal themselves.
Introduction – Risen
For me it was the maelstrom. I once followed Isis. She was short in stature. The high priest of Set spoke of great change, and he brought it. I was one of the many to follow him, and one of the few chosen to do so forever. At least we thought it would be forever.
He let us know how corrupt Isis and her brother husband were. Our children starved while our excess grain flowed away from our lands. Our mothers wailed while plagues ruined there bodies. When the fires started, we called on Horus, Hathor and Nut to aid us, to save us. They didn’t respond, the High Priest of Set’s words were true. So many of us called to Set, and he responded.
For me there was such devotion. After the ritual. After I walked the land of the dead. After I walked into the Old City of the dead. I was Risen. The High Priest of Set revealed many plans. They would take many life times. The High Priest walked into the land of the dead. We were alone. Set gave us his dead children the Followers of Set to aid us.
Long long ago, on one journey though the land of the dead I heard it. It was like a heard running in the distance. In the direction of the sound you could see pain, and what I believed to be chaos. After I returned, I learned I wasn’t the only one to see the great storm, the maelstrom. From the other devoted Risen I learned it tore the spirits that step into it apart, growing in size and strength. And so we learned to stay away from it when we journeyed that land.
Our secrets of that land, were not our own. We had spies and others who were Risen, but not devoted. No new Risen, those who knew the rite stopped. We found ways to sew our will to the body of one who recently died. That too became a secret not our own. In the east they worked successfully to send us back to the land of the dead. We don’t stay. Yet the maelstrom grew.
Now there are few devoted. Few of the Calberi. Few of the Maya. Few of the Chin. Few of the Tao. But we few are Risen. Our secrets are our own. We do not stay in the land of the dead for long as the maelstrom hunts us, for our life.
In these dark days new groups gather. New alliances are made for protection. I was told to go to Reno, seek out DARK. Reveal none of our secrets. I continue striving towards our life enduring goal. Yet our secrets our kept, I believe the Maelstrom hunts us for them. The land of the dead was never safe, even when we traveled it freely. No one can anymore, because of the great storm.
Introduction – Changeling
I went to Wingfield park to meet Tia. She is such a bright spirit. She loves to play, run, and can be quite funny. She always explained her dad was an Eshu who knew a secret Trod he used to travel here to Reno. She took after him.
Tia never showed in the park. Worrisome it was in that moment. So I went to see her mother, it was a short journey to where she tends her garden out in Spanish Springs. When I walked up her mother was struggling to remove weeds in the cracks of the pavement. Strange even that, she never had weeds and I always assumed it was a touch of the Fae gifted by her love. When she greeted me she used my human name, not my changeling nickname. She said Catrina was not back from school yet. I too quickly asked what she was doing at school. Her mother looked very tired as she said, we got a letter her father was killed, and Catrina wanted to attend school. I told her I would be back.
I made my way to where, here was thin to seek out her Father in the dream. I shouldn’t have. It was wrong. Different yes. Change is ok, but an Inanimae has awoken. Here her Kith was no more. I returned to reality and found Tia. Catrina. She said hello, and looked at me like were weren’t close kith for so long. Like we hadn’t inspired stories of Fae in the hills in recent times. Tia was no more. Had our dream ended?
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended;
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear,
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding than a dream.
Gentles, do not reprehend:
‘If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ‘ere long.
Else the Puck a liar call,
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.