Episode V: Conversations
Persephony sat in front of the fireplace for quite a while, mulling over what was happening. It had been a day since the coup by Lucius’ daughter Creperum, and still people were in high tensions. The leaders hadn’t been seen since, still holed up in meetings and running around the city trying to regain the keys to the castle. Many of the older vampires were trying to keep the spirits up, especially amongst the younger vampires, but without any direct word from the leaders themselves, it was futile.
Persephony thought back earlier to when she had ventured into the main hall, where the numbers had dwindled during the night and early morning to rest and settle affairs. Now nearing midnight, most were still out feeding or down at the bars, waiting for word.
She had barely entered the hall before she heard a man with shoulder-length hair yelling at… what was her name? Foster had mentioned it earlier; she was the one that she had seen at her arrival.
“I beg your pardon, but why are you insulting people? I thought this Clan was supposed to be acting like family? None of the people you are being rude to have done anything to you or have been rude to you. Your cruel and somewhat inept retorts are unappreciated and unacceptable.”
Persephony paused at the doorway, watching and listening to the conversation - or was it an argument? - that occurred not 20 feet away from her. A group of 25 to 30 vampires were standing around and sitting in the sitting area in front of the middle of the fireplace, some listening, some arguing, some drinking and helping themselves from the bar.
“Well, have you not read the posting? There has been a hostile takeover of the clan. I can, and will, be rude to the people who have taken it over, and I will do so with justification, considering the current circumstances!” She yelled back, her hands twitching and clenching in anger.
“There are many here who would like to continue their days without a bunch of overwrought political-drama. This is just another tribulation, and were this a normal night in the city, Lord Capadocious wouldn’t tolerate this behaviour, Leona. We don’t need it right now.”
So her name was Leona. That, at least, gave Persephony a name to place to the face she kept seeing.
“I find this upsetting and all very rash. Leona, you’re the only house member here right now. We need you to placate our worries and tell us what is happening. I decided to join a clan to meet others and expand the city for myself. I wanted to learn something and help others. Now, just a couple weeks in, I am faced with all these stressful events, and childish behaviour, and we don’t need that right now. Please, no more putting my house members down, apologize, Leona. If you have problems, keep them to yourself and do not attack any more innocents.” The dark-haired vampire criticized, and Persephony wondered what exactly, had started the fight. Leona looked ready to hurt people, and Persephony made a mental note to avoid the older woman.
“Sacre Crimson, why don’t you take a second to calm down before you mouth off? I was not trying to be mean to anyone, it was a question, despite what you seem to be making it out to be. If you took it as rude, well sorry, it wasn’t. I will not apologize for something I did not do.”
Persephony could only assume that the man that was telling her off was Sacre, as it didn’t seem that any others could have been the person she was referring to.
“We need to worry about other issues. There is no reason for hostility to anyone here except those who have caused the trouble. Some of us are brand new clan members, and fresh from hearing all about the supposed family-like atmosphere here. We all seem happy and proud to be a part of it, but not like this. Everyone is fairly confused at this point, and I’ll be the first to admit that openly, but I hope that does not leave me open to such criticism and childish behaviour.” Another women spoke from the sidelines. She remembered Foster introducing her as Jada earlier in the week in the thieves’ guild.
“For crying out loud, shush. I’m sorry you ALL took it in the wrong way. I’ll just shut the hell up from now on.” Leona finally cried, her eyes blazing in indignation and annoyance.
“Calm down, Leona, you forget what it’s like to be a fledgling again. Imagine their positions. We joined for this chance at togetherness, and to become stronger. Sadly, a few sour apples have upset this process. There is not much else we can do right now, so hang in there and just keep working on the things we can work on, becoming stronger for the clan. Whatever happens in the end, we will need to be strong for it if we are called upon. Other clans will try to jump in at this time and take advantage of us, and we need to be ready. With our strength of togetherness and growing powers to aid the Capadocious Clan it will continue to be the home we sought, and out of this we will all grow stronger.” Another vampire spoke from the back of the group, as she sat in a plush armchair sipping a crystal glass of blood wine. She shifted her gaze over to Persephony, winking at her before taking another sip of her wine. She waved Persephony over, inviting her to participate in the conversation instead of hanging around the sidelines.
“There is a lot of chaos right now, and vampires are not knowing where to turn. To survive we must all stick close together and continue to help each other out while the leaders of the clan sort this all out. Leona, you have to remember that you’re a role model, here, honey.” She spoke once more before draining her wine and leaving to refill her glass. Persephony slowly walked over, nervously taking an empty chair.
“Persephony, you’re probably the youngest here, and would know the best how the new childer are coping. What do you think about all of this?”
“I still don’t know what’s going on.” She said shyly, averting her eyes from Jada. Persephony still didn’t know what had caused the verbal argument between Leona and the vampire called Sacre, and felt ill qualified to answer properly.
“The question is: Is this a real change in leadership, sanctioned by all parties involved, or was it in fact a coup? We were just agreeing that it was a coup, but we’re more used to the politics of the clan, and what we understand might be entirely different from what the newbies perceive.” Foster spoke up, from a seat that had been hidden from her sight, as Leona had stood in front of him. He looked much calmer than earlier, and she could only assume that he had either collected himself, or had seen and talked to Sandie, which relieve her. Remembering that a question was directed to her, she returned to the conversation around her.
“I think… well, first, forgive me for sounding brash or uncivil, if indeed I sound so as I say this, but we all need a broad update on what’s happening.
“As far as being a newbie… the young are confused over what’s happening; the fledglings are frightened at this lack of communication with our superiors; we haven’t seen much of our leaders, clan or guild… indeed, we haven’t seen or heard from our supposed ‘leader’ who took us over, either, which only makes me suspicious.” She said the last part with an edge of cynicism that she didn’t know she possessed, and felt a rush of protectiveness over her new clan that surprised her. “Perhaps they only succeeded by causing this confusion that has divided us so.”
“I don’t like this feeling that we’re standing around trying to figure out what’s going on. I’m not saying either that we shouldn’t try to solve this, merely that, well, what are the rest of us going to do while our leaders and guilds learn about and fix this problem? Who is still in charge of which guilds, and whom do we go to with our questions and concerns? Does Lord Capadocious or his seconds-in-command want us to stick together as one large family, or does he want us to unite within our guilds, take orders from our leaders while he sorts out the larger picture? And which parts of the castle are still safe to use, what with the enemy having access to all the keys? I’m sure many feel as if our home in RavenBlack city has been compromised, but you have to remember that we are ‘newbie-childer’ who may not know or understand what’s going on in our family; what are you going to tell us?”
Persephony took a pause, and suddenly realized that it had been herself speaking. Her mouth dried out, and she knew that had she been alive, she would have been blushing furiously. She looked down at her feet, unable to meet the gazes of the other vampires around her. She cursed herself; she was never this brash, this open with others! What had changed?
“Believe me, we understand, Hun.” Leona said as she stepped up to her and patted Persephony’s shoulder in an odd display of compassion that completely threw her for a loop. Was this not the vampire that had been yelling earlier?
“Things are crazy right now,” she continued, “We are still under control of Cap, not Mucus or Crusty-bum.” Persephony looked up at her, confused.
“(Lucius or Creperum.)” Foster supplied with a grin.
“Everyone’s going to stay in the castle. We will get the keys back. The leaders of the houses will have this all sorted out soon. If not, we go to war. I’d have fun slapping Lucius around.” Leona finished.
The other vampires returned to their conversations in lower voices, and Persephony looked around, feeling uncomfortable again. As she got up to return upstairs to her chambers, she spotted Leona out of the corner of her eyesight. Sacre walked up to her, offering her his hand.
“Truce? In this time of uncertainty, we don’t need to be divided.” Persephony overheard, and she watched as Leona took Sacre’s hand, bowing low. She straightened and looked him in the eye.
“Thank you, Sacre. We are all in this together. I appreciate this show of brotherhood.” Sacre deeply bowed in response. ‘And I am glad that we can all be here together in this show of support to our great Capadocian leader, and to our youngest. This Clan has offered me a family where I had none. I was alone on the edges of the city for sometime now and it is good to lose the fear of unknowing.” He smiled in to Leona, seeing Persephony watching the exchange.
“One day, I’m sure you’ll find the same sense of security here.” He said to Persephony while still holding the guise of a conversation to the elder vampiress. Leona, sensing that he wasn’t referring to herself, looked over her shoulder to see Persephony watching, and her eyes softened. Persephony turned away, walking up the stairs to her room.
Inside her heart, she could only hope what he said was the truth.