Persephony eyed the offered hand, her common senses finally screaming at her to step back and think about what she’s really entered into.
“Um, Ma’am… I really don’t know why I’m here, and I was wondering… well, why am I here?”
“Sartori invited you here, did he not explain at least a little what we are?”
“No, Ma’am. He said that he’d been watching me for a while, and then gave me the card, and left without a syllable said of anything.”
“Well, that is something Sartori would do. He’s known as a joker around here, and confusing younger vampires is something he’d amuse himself with.” Sandie started to walk out of the room, and Persephony, not knowing anything of her surroundings, quickly moved to follow her, lest she be forgotten in the room and lost forever.
“The large clan is known as the Capadocians, and we serve under Lord Capadocious. There’s no need to be intimidated by the title,” she said with a light laugh as she noticed the tension in Persephony’s small build, “He’s as nice a fellow as you’ll ever meet, and takes prodigious care of his family.”
They walked up the staircase as she talked, and soon they were back at the main foyer where she had been let in. The instead followed the hallway to its destination, which was a set of large doors that the elder vampire pushed open to reveal an opulent parlour room, with numerous vampires lounging around talking by a large fireplace that spanned the entire length of the furthest wall.
“Inside this clan are different houses, subsections of all of us depending on what we’re chosen to do in the clan, whether warrior, thief, informant, or spy. Sartori and I are part of the Thieves guild, called the Silhouettes, and whose task is to rob, pilfer, steal as much money as we can. The money is then divided amongst the other members of the clan; first the thieves, to enable them to receive their powers, and then to the warriors to stock up on weapons, should we be engaged in a war. Are you following this, Persephony?”
She had a few questions to ask, but the basics of what she just said were clear enough, so she nodded her head.
“Inside the castle, there are different sections that are given to each of the houses, which only the members of the house are allowed to enter into. Right now, I’m leading you to the Silhouettes section of the castle, where you’ll have been given entry into by now.” Sandie led her to a far staircase in the corner of the main hall; one of many exits from the room that Persephony could only assume led to different parts of the castle.
“The castle is so large, how am I to know how to get around, or where I am and am not allowed?” she asked Sandie, who smiled and patted her shoulder comfortingly.
“You’ll be given a map, don’t worry. No one has gotten lost forever yet,” she laughed, and Persephony tried to smile with her, but was too confused to make it genuine.
“Every member of our family is also given a room to call their own, and you’ll have one as well. Don’t feel you have to stay there every night, as many only keep them to store things, weapons, and scrolls… but you’re welcome to stay however many nights you want as long as you are a member of the Capadocians.
“Now, here we are at our guild hall,” Sandie led her up to a heavy door with a gilded symbol of a hand holding a moneybag. “All you have to do is place your hand upon the symbol. It is enchanted to know who you are, and will only let you and the Silhouettes enter.”
She placed her hand on the crest, and waited for Persephony to place hers alongside it. Persephony tentatively placed it on the crest, feeling a warm glow enter her hand the moment it touched. She could hear a heavy lock release itself, and the door swung open to let them through. Sandie placed her hand on Persephony’s shoulder, guiding her first through the doorway. Through the door was a thick stone walkway that eventually opened up to a large guildhall. Similar to the main hall in everything but size, one wall was entirely converted into a fireplace, and there were deep leather couches spread out through the room in smaller circles conductive for conversations. In one corner was a small bar, fully stocked with liquor, and in another end the corner was fully converted to a library, with stacks of books reaching high up to the vaulted ceiling.
“How many Silhouettes are there?”
“We have a fair number. You’ll eventually get to meet them all, though it could take some time to get their names straight. Now, what I haven’t told you yet is that for each house, there are a few leaders for it. There is the Head of House, who is in charge of everyone in their house, and, in the Silhouettes, there are smaller sections of the guild, each with it’s own leader. Those smaller groups are called sectors. You’ll still need to be fitted into one of the sectors, but that’s done by the Head of House, so I’ll have to go find her and inform her that you’ve been placed as a thief. She’ll then sort you accordingly.”
Sandie led her past the sitting area, up yet another stairwell with numerous landings and branches leading to other hallways. Persephony could only assume that it might have been private rooms, and she was right as Sandie led her to one specific door.
“Now this is your room while you stay with us. Here’s your key,” and she handed Persephony a rather large and elaborate wrought iron key, “I don’t think I have to tell you not to give it to anyone else. You’re the only one, aside from Lord Capadocious himself, who has a key to this room. Nobody else can enter the room without an explicit invitation from you, the doors throughout the castle are charmed as such.”
“Thank you.” Persephony said, weighing the key in her small hands. She slipped it into her pocket.
“Now I would like to help you with any other questions you might have, but I have other things to tend to. If you have any questions, in the common room downstairs, in the library, there are books that describe the history of the clan, there are also numerous books on the different powers - what they are and how to get them- and any other questions you may have. If something is confusing to you, ask anyone around, they’ll be happy to assist you, I’m sure. Oh, and your map is inside your room on the desk.”
“Are there any questions you need answered right away?” Sandie turned to her one last time. Persephony thought for a moment; Sandie had explained most of her queries away quite well, or at least given her directions to where she could find the information. She shook her head when nothing came to mind.
“Alright, it was charming to meet you, Persephony,” And this time, when she offered her hand, Persephony shook it, “and don’t worry, young one, you’ll do fine here.” And with one last warm smile, she turned and left her standing outside the door to her room. Persephony was left wondering why she kept being referred to as ‘young one’. She was not young in years… perhaps it is their polite way of saying ‘naive’ or ‘inexperienced’, she thought to herself, and the desperation for finding a family again hit her like a stake through the heart.
Persephony looked around her, down the deserted corridor, desperately wishing that this were but some sort of bizarre dream. Even with the people around her in this large castle, she still felt alone. And she didn’t like it. With a soft sigh, she decided to fish out the key she had been given, and unlocked her door, stepping inside, feeling more that ever as a one eyed man in the land of the blind.