Prologue: Hell and Beyond

5 minute read

Persephony cloaked herself in the shadows as another vampire walked past her, turning down the corner of Bleak and 4th. She slid down the wall and crouched down on the ground, pulling her black cloak around her tighter.

In such situations as these, it was normal to think back to the beginning; the things that happened in the past, how things had deteriorated to the point they were at now, and so on and so forth. But she remembered so little that it was fruitless to think back on the happier times.

Persephony had immigrated to the continent when her native Ireland had been suffering from potato famines, and many families looked to move to North America. But her family had fallen ill on the boat trip over the Atlantic, and by the time she reached her new homeland, she had been an orphan.

As such, she was placed in a host of orphanages, passed around from home to home in numerous cities until ending up in RavenBlack City, almost too old to continue living in the shelters for children. One month before she would have been turned out to the streets to fend for herself, a group of cloaked figures had invaded the orphanage in the night.

She couldn’t remember the events of that night, nor did she wish to rethink the images she found herself surrounded by when she awoke after the attack. But the hunger very quickly affected her, and before she had a chance to think, take in the events, or mourn the loss of the Sisters or other children, she had been on the streets jumping the first human she could find.

It wasn’t to say that she hated the lot in life (or unlife) that she had been dealt; indeed, the power she now had over her own destiny had made her giddy for the first week of her new existence. Nor was it any form of guilt over the humans that had to die for her to continue living. But it was two weeks into her vampiric life that she had come across (or he had come across her) the man who had been the one to sire her. Having not ever had a real sense of family with her birth parents, this was indeed the first relationship with any person that made her feel such a sense of familiarity, of security, through the bond that they did share. Such security was short lived as he deemed her a mistake, too young to have been turned (she was only 17), and too weak to be affiliated in any way with him.

The closing of their sire-childe bond, however short-lived it had been, had broken her in ways that not even the death of her parents, the death of those at the orphanage, or even her own death had managed to shatter. Without any to explain to her what had happened, what she was, or how to exist in this new form, she pondered right then and there whether she might take in one last sunrise, no matter how her new form feared it.

And as such she sat in this alleyway, avoiding other vampires stronger than herself, feeding from the occasional human that passed her way, and hiding in the daylight hours until night falls and she continues the existence.

So it was a great surprise when she looked up at the opposite wall and noticed another, much older vampire sitting across from her.

“My, aren’t you a young, pretty one.” He said, flipping a coin in his pale hand. Persephony could feel the demon inside her growling, as well as the human remnant, the logical part to the demon’s emotive, which knew she could not take on this stronger male.

“Now, now… relax, Little One, I mean no harm.” He narrowed his eyes slightly, taking in her appearance, which somehow managed to offend her. True she hadn’t been as affected by appearance as some vampires she had come across, yet in no way did she not care for herself and her clothes. The century plus that she had been around the city taught her that in order to blend in, one did have to adapt to the new styles that came about. She was not poor, having had 100 years of storing her stolen money from humans in the nearby bank, yet the thought that she did not measure up to this one’s scrutiny bothered her in a way she could not explain.

“We’ve seen you around the past couple years, and found it interesting that you keep no contact with other clans, nor seek to improve yourself in power quests. Why is that?”

His question caught her off-guard; she didn’t know about any clans in the city, or about any power quests. She told him as much, which surprised him in return.

“You don’t know about… indeed, that’ll throw one for a loop. Has your sire not taught you these things?” The mere mentioning of her sire gave Persephony the chills, which did not go unnoticed by this other vampire.

“Should you ever feel that you need a family, we’re always around to help those who need guidance. You should check us out.” He threw a business card at her, which landed softly on her bent knees.

“Fare thee well, Persephony.” He said, drawing out a faded scroll, and with a gust of wind, he teleported out of the alley.

Persephony stared at the spot he had been sitting, and then her eyes shifted to the small card he had tossed her. She read the fine printing, far too faint for human eyes to read, but with her improved eyesight it was as clear as day.

We are the ones who place the dagger in the hand, the scroll in the palm, and the vial in the fingers of our friends. We honour our brothers and sisters, and respect no others. Paupers and kings are our prey. We stand as one, yet fade to the shadows. Watching, and waiting. We are the hands that serve in the night. The thieves of Capadocious, who help fund his empire in exchange for glory and honour, await you.

Persephony was unsure of what to make of the card, and she read the small address printed at the bottom. She had always wanted to be a part of something larger, grander than her own, simple non-existence that she was condemned to, and the card did hold her a lot of promise. She had heard very vague mentionings of the name Capadocious before, in taverns around the city, but she didn’t know there were clans of vampires, or that he was a leader of one. She wondered why she didn’t ask more of the vampire who had handed it to her, at the very least asked his name.

In the end the loneliness won over the suspicion, and, having already fed that night, she made her way to Larch and 49th. Perhaps it was time to rejoin society.