It was with trepidation that Persephony approached the castle. It might have been the hundreds of thousands of bones that littered the ground surrounding the large castle, or it might have been the heads strung up on poles, some with blood still dripping.
By the time she got to the door, she wondered if it was worth the effort, to come all this way to learn more when she could hardly endure the journey to the door. Wondering how close the nearest pub was, she hesitantly knocked on the immense door, a heavy metal doorknocker hanging rusted and unused.
As per most heavy doors to castles in the traditional scary movie way, the door slowly swung open. A very large vampire snuck his head around, looking over her in the same derogatory way the last vampire had, whatever his name was.
“Got an invite?” He asked, his deep rumbling voice scaring her as much as the first vampire hunter she had come across had scared her, when she was less than a month old. It was pure chance that she had gotten away from that encounter without being dusted, and she found herself with the sinking feeling that this situation was going to have the same lucky chance for survival.
She handed over the small business card she had been handed the night before to the giant, his large hand dwarfing hers as he took it from her and held it awkwardly in his oversized grip.
“Ah, so you’re one of Sartori’s new recruits. We were wondering when you’d show.” He pushed the door open wider, and she slipped around his large frame through the door, her eyes never leaving his, or the giant mace that he held in his opposite hand, which had been concealed from her view behind the door. She entered the long walkway corridor, waiting as the -doorman? - lurched past her and led her deeper into the castle.
“You’re a jumpy one for someone with power.” He mumbled to her. “How old are you, anyways?”
“146, Sir.” She said, trying her hardest to keep the tremors from her voice. Indeed, it had also been that long since she had wilfully sought out other vampires, and she remembered the infamous meeting with her sire, hoping that perhaps he wouldn’t be in this clan, and also that he wouldn’t be seen again, either.
They walked down the hall to a staircase that led deeper into the castle’s underground, the air getting mustier as she followed the doorman, who was almost too tall and broad to fit down the corridor. He paused at one open archway, which led into a larger room with a table, and four vampires sitting around it.
“This is your stop,” he groaned, grabbing her by the back of the cloak and throwing her through the doorway. It took all of her undead agility to right herself before tumbling to the ground, and she straightened herself to be standing before the table, the four looking at her and judging her as every other vampire had the past few days.
“State your name for the records.” One female on the far left said, her tone clipped and leaving no room for discussion.
“Persephony.” She replied, clenching her hands at her side in an attempt to reign in her demons rage at being spoken to so. The female wrote down the name on a piece of parchment, then looked back at her. Persephony could see the power those eyes commanded, and wondered again at her stupidity at walking right into a lair full of the powerful vampires she had avoided for a century.
“Your sire’s name?” Persephony bit her tongue for a moment, stifling the scathing remark that attempted to escape at the mere mentioning of the word ‘sire’. It was without a doubt that these types would not appreciate the gesture.
“Powers accumulated?” She remained silent at that, still not understanding the full meaning of what ‘powers’ were.
“Can we assume by your silence that you have none?” One male spoke, leaning forward on the table to stare at her.
“I was never taught what powers were.” She replied, looking away for a moment before steeling herself and looking back to his searching eyes.
“And yet, she still reached the status of an Elder…” The second female spoke, her voice much softer than the other female’s, and she cocked her head back at Persephony. “How old are you, child?” A thought crossed her mind at the vampiress’ choice of words, and she gathered up the rest of her gall.
“Do you mean, Ma’am, how old was I before I was turned, or how old am I since then?”
The female vampire thought a moment, and turned to the remaining male sitting to her right. “Both.” The male supplied.
“I was almost 18 when I was turned, and that was 146 years ago.”
“And your sire taught you nothing concerning survival?” the second male asked.
He nodded and turned to look to the others, exchanging glances.
“Which of the houses will take her?” the second asked.
“I don’t think she’s warrior material, she has no powers.” the stern female said, turning her nose up and scowling at Persephony.
“She must have something about her, if she’s survived so long with no training from her sire,” The first male said. “Most fledges don’t last a year, never mind a century.”
“That looks to have taken a toll, she’s shaking in her boots here.”
“She was turned so young, she’ll probably never reach her full strength.”
“Perhaps she would be best suited for the Necronomicon? With a good dose of fear, I doubt she would be of any use anywhere but the Information House.”
“Who recommended her?” The soft voice of the second female asked, looking to the ledger in front of the vampire to her right. She had been quiet during the debating amongst the others, still staring at her with a strange gleam in her eye that Persephony couldn’t look away from.
“As big a fool as I ever saw. He probably only noticed her for her looks.” Persephony didn’t know whether to be offended or complimented at the scowl that graced the stern one’s face again at the mentioning of this Sartori. Was this the name of the vampire that had given her the invitation?
“I’ll take her.” The gentle voice called out over the dim of the others conversing. “The thieves are short of members, and I have faith that Sartori saw something in her.”
“Alright, done. You’re responsible for her, Sandie.” The stern one glared first at ‘Sandie’, then at Persephony before signing the parchment in front of her, passing it down the table as the others signed it as well, until it passed all four and Sandie rolled it up, tying it with a string and pocketing it.
“Are there any others for today? Then I’m gone.” The stern one sighed, before removing herself from the table, gathering the ledger and her papers before exiting the room through a doorway located in the back that Persephony had failed to notice. The other two males followed suit without a word, and that left her in the room alone with the vampire that had ‘taken her’.
“Don’t mind her, she’s got a lot on her hands, she never likes the newbies.” Sandie spoke to her, a calm, warm smile on her lips as she stood and walked around the table, standing before her.
“Welcome to the Silhouettes, and welcome to the Capadocians.” She said, offering her hand in a greeting handshake.