Love and Darkness

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Love and Darkness

Postby Sterling on Tue May 01, 2012 10:45 am

Love and Darkness

1707, Romania

The rain was hard, heavy, and constant. If fell straight down despite the breeze because of the sheer size of the drops and even if the sky were visible through the deluge it would have been black with thick clouds. It was the kind of rain that turned day into night and walking through it was like walking under a waterfall. It reminded him of doldrums’ storms at sea.

Sterling had long ago given up on trying to stay even a bit dry and was thoroughly soaked to the bone. His cloak stuck to him with the force of the water cascading through the thin trees and the only things on his person that would be dry were in the oiled and waterproof leather pack he wore. His broad-brimmed hat hung around his shoulders and down in front of his face concealing all of his features save his chin. His musket and pistol would be useless until reloaded from the water-tight powder horn so if there was any trouble it would come down to sword play again. A long rapier hung at his left hip, a thick gauche at his right, both of which would need to be cleaned and oiled once he was dry again. If he was ever dry again.

The rain was so all-encompassing that it even drowned out the sound of his own footsteps over the soaked gravel of the road and muted all smells. It was a fine way to travel unseen but a despicably unpleasant one.

Even through the din and drone of the rain the voices were a constant companion to him whispering insane phrases and disjoined bits, sometimes even bits of song in languages he both knew and did not, as he walked.

“...cypher, sword... reckoned blackness... fray...”

There was a break in the trees at a turn in the gravel path that he followed, and the quality of the sound of the rain differed. It was not open ground ahead but a swollen lake the edges of which were even now licking at the path.
He’d begun this journey with no destination in mind, simply following a road out of the small town that he’d passed through at random, keeping on the move less he be found again by the Order or some other hunter looking to make a name for themselves by attempting to take down the most notorious monster of legend aside from dragons. Little did he realize what this path would lead to.

There was a small break in the clouds above and the rain tapered off to a steady downpour instead of a hard deluge. Chancing a look around as he stood at the edge of the large lake he spied a light far up a slope on the far side. It looked to be from a manor tower though even with his supernaturally keen sight he couldn’t tell for certain with the rain. The path turned in the direction of the light.

Sterling shrugged and followed the path.

“Perhaps they’ll have room for company.” He said to nobody but himself.

“...sister sister... darkness.” The voices answered him, and laughed.


The door of the estate was massive, and iron bound, made of pure white oak that was aged to a fine shade with huge iron ring knockers. No light showed from beneath the door though a flicker of it cast through the sealed and iron barred window in the middle of it to view visitors indicating that it was well sealed to the weather. The stones of the archway were not pitted nor overgrown with the ivy that hung on most of the outer walls. This estate was maintained, and well.

Sterling gripped the massive ring, glad to be out of the pouring rain under the archway, and clanged it to the door three times. The sound was huge and echoing. Almost immediately someone opened the viewport. The face was that of a very old, very gaunt, man.

“Sir,” the man said, his voice cracked and gravelly. He spoke Romanian, of course, but this was no problem for Sterling as he both understood and spoke the language himself. What was striking was that it was a High dialect, very formal, and very crisp and clean despite the nature of his voice. “The mistress is expecting you. Please come in.”

The portal shut with a soft clang and the massive door began to open almost immediately. There was not a huge creaking sound, nor any sound at all to be heard, as the portal swung slowly open. Inside stood the man, very tall and rail thin, dressed in a complete formal tuxedo. He was balding, only a cape of close-clipped white hair around his head, with no facial hair whatsoever. His hawk-like nose sat under a very pronounced brow that showed off his pure crystal-blue eyes, eyes that seemed to take in every detail of Sterling at a glance. There was something very authoritarian and commanding about his presence.

"Naive wishing for peace is the surest possible way to invite an aggressor."
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Shifter Darkly
Shifter Darkly
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