long has it been now? My mind can hardly
comprehend the sights, the years, the knowledge! Oh, the knowledge! Let me take you back, way back to my
beginnings. I wasn't always the stunning
charismatic figure you see ahead of you now...
My name at
birth was... I did have a name, but that
isn't important anymore. I remember it
merely as part of my former life. Even
as a young girl, I was always interested in studies, but not just the studies
my father, the lord of a large estate in France, wanted me to. As I was an only child, it made him into a
progressive thinker in that way, and he hired the finest tutors to try to teach
me, but I was often more interested in the lessons I could learn from the colorful
figures who passed through the nearby tavern.
At first, they avoided me for my name and title, yet I soon developed a
reputation and was accepted into their fold, as it were. Yet some of my father's lessons have stuck
with me. Certainly, my speech has been
shaped by his lessons. The one course of
study that I began to learn in those early days that served me well was the
languages. I learned all sorts of arcane
and emerging languages, everything from Aramaic to Latin to English, with
several other languages as well.
tried to be supportive in my schooling, and teach me to be a proper lady, but
these lessons were doomed to failure before they began. Who would want to learn how to stitch and
plan parties when there were more interesting possibilities, such as learning
how to handle a dirk, and not only to handle that dirk, but to practice to the
point that you could... make your point from across a crowded room. After my second such lesson, I fled from my
comfortable lesson, realizing that while one such 'indiscression' might be
excused due to my parents, this time there would be no retreating into
that. I knew this, and I reveled in
it. Going to new areas where nobody knew
my past meant that I had some more freedoms than might have been expected
southeast, and reached Germany. Due to my lessons in the taverns, I had
learned how to make money with cards, but I chose not to take that route...
after all, that's why I had to make my point earlier with those gentlemen, and
I didn't want to have to kill again.
Well, at least not with all of those witnesses watching me. For several weeks, I frequented the pub and
my place of gainful employment, the brothel, keeping my skills sharp. One evening, I overheard a gentleman mention
that he would prefer his wife to... meet with a slight yet permanent
accident. I spoke to him briefly, and he
told me of her unfaithfulness and after some negotiating, the job was
arranged. It went as well as the earlier
true altercations had gone. While she
was getting water, she just *happened* to slip and fall into the water. Pity about that. And her husband, doesn't he just look so
crestfallen... He really loved her, you
know. Let's just say that listening to
the talk around the town for the next week was amusing, for me at least. An additional affect of this was that after a
few months went by, the gentleman in question brought a friend into the
brothel. And he later brought another. I always made sure there was a reason for the
job; I was just helping justice happen faster.
Several other 'accidents' happened to various people, the most tragic
being a new wife tripping and falling on the knife she was using to cut off a
leg of beef. Did you hear about the
mess? I heard they had to break off the
handle and leave the knife in, it jammed or something. Anyways, after that one, the talk didn't die
down... And since people didn't travel
around much, when gossip started as to whether the deaths were all just natural
accidents... I felt it was a judicious time to start traveling again.
further south, and reached Italy
several weeks later. Not for the first
time, I thanked my father for his hiring my teachers of languages. I took up business once again in Italy. Oddly enough, I soon met one of my good
friends from Germany,
Claudia. I had met Claudia a year or so
before, and she was a nice enough girl; though not one of the most attractive,
she was always busy. Our friendship
again resumed, and we would often study together late at nights, after our visitors
had left. I forgot to mention that,
didn't I? Ah, I do seem to get more and
more forgetful as my other knowledge increases... While I had not wished to learn from the
tutors, yet my father imparted a love, almost a need, for learning in me. I read whenever I could find a book, which
was incredibly rare and was usually a few pages of the Bible that the
'visiting' monks were working on. I
would often pump them for information, as I needed to know... what was
happening in Rome, who was ruling in England now,
had any sailors found new land.
Information was something I needed, and Claudia seemed the same. We would swap little bits of information we
had gleaned, and every now and then would remember an additional little fact we
had forgotten earlier.
Now where was
I again? Oh yes, back to Italy. While I began to pursue my other, more
profitable occupation, Claudia asked me whether I was serious about my
training, or if it was just a whimsical pastime. I answered the former, and she told me that
we would have to take another trip, if that would be acceptable for my training
to continue and that my knowledge would be increased to levels I wouldn't be
able to understand as of yet. I told her
that if it would help my training, and also let me increase my knowledge, then
I was ready to leave as soon as she was.
We pooled our resources, and bought a carriage with separated chambers
and windows for each of us, so that we could sleep as we felt like it.
We left the
next evening, and had a remarkably easy journey. When the night held some noises that were
quite odd, Claudia told me to ignore them unless they came close to our
carriage. I did my best to assuage my
curiosity and besides, my peeks out of my window revealed nothing but shadows
in the night. True, they sometimes
moved, but my weariness would often overtake me. Claudia and I both usually slept during the
days, as that was our usual schedule. We
would have shifts during the nights, myself leading the horses at the
beginnings and endings of the night, and Claudia doing the hard work in the
middle of the nights, yet we found time to practice our weapons skills. Remarkably, Claudia seemed at least as adept
with a knife as I was, though she had never displayed any talents in that field
before that I had seen. As I said
earlier, our trip was remarkably without event.
Claudia was guiding us to a location I knew not earlier, and now will
not divulge. Suffice it to say that
after we arrived and entered the mountain, my curiosity was piqued.
that was seven more years of learning.
Honestly, those were seven of the hardest years of study I have ever
had, yet they were some of my most enjoyable years as well. They had all sorts of books, some in
languages of which I had never even heard of, but many in tongues I
understood. After those years, Claudia
brought me into the Embrace. I will not
speak more of the rituals, as it is not fitting for you to know, suffice it to
say that like my sire, I have become a Vizier as well. My knowledge has increased, and my skills
have as well. While clan comes first,
knowledge is a necessity. If you don't
have knowledge, I'm not interested in what you have to say. If you would know more of my past, then you
should ask Claudia, or even... No, Claudia is who you should inquire of. My story is done now, and I shall not take
more of your time. You will not see me
again... if you are lucky.