Four months have passed since that fateful night Rastan, Shadow and I awoke from our slumbers, and I must say, I pity Rastan as much now as I did the night I first met his sire. Mr.Donizetti is a flighty, debauched aristocrat, the exact kind of man this city of depravity was built on, whereas Rastan seems much more the serious, scholarly type. Perhaps Mr.Donizetti only plays the fool so that others will underestimate him, though if this is so, he is a better actor than I have seen in my many years. Rastan does not seem to mind his sire’s antics, however, as long as his liege still has knowledge to pass on to him.
Then there is the mortal woman, Elona.. Mr.Donizetti insists he has not bound or enthralled her, and that the way she acts is by her own free will.. If this is indeed true, and if it is also true that he has not used any of his clan’s powers on her, then this young woman is of a severely damaged psyche, seeming to delight in servitude. She acts almost exactly like a ryuube to it’s master, in fact; a trait that is disturbing, to say the least, in a fully realized and sentient mortal being.
Shadow is a little more difficult to pin down. Her sire was apparently very unpopular with the local malaphants, and was consumed in the amaranth. Shadow, by association of her sire’s blood, is also looked down upon by most of the others. She seems bitter, and no wonder, with some of the whispers and jeers I have heard about her in my short time in this era. Shadow also says that she is an avenger of innocents, and punisher of the wicked, and if that is so, we may indeed have more in common than I originally thought.. Though, the night we awoke, Mr.Donizetti had a mortal who was attending the party on his estate brought to us to feed upon, and when I refused and sent the man on his way.. Shadow seemed very much like she would have eaten the innocent drunk without a second thought.
Shortly after I awoke, I captured and spoke with a crow, and enthralled it, to aid me in keeping a watch on the mausoleum and anything that I might need. I named it ‘Eyes’, which it seems to have taken to with humor. A while later, realizing my vulnerability, I found myself a stray dog, a bull mastiff. Already a very large creature, my blood made him grow to my own height! He follows he nearly everywhere, an intimidating canine who keeps most threats from thinking of bothering me. I named him Guardian, and he fulfills that roll perfectly, as well as the roll of mount due to his massive size.
Finding wicked people in this city is no harder now than it was before my slumber, but hiding the evidence of their disposal has become much more difficult. I realized this quickly, and so investigated how the mortals of this city deal with those even they deem too wicked and unlawful to be allowed; my search led me to Talmund Penitentiary, the place where the worst sort of criminals are shut away. I was hoping I could use my stealth to feed upon it’s wicked populace, but that proved impossible, as the warden of this prison, a oni by the name of Norihide, was much more in control and hands on than is usual. I am….. terribly ashamed of myself for what I did next; I approached him one night as he was leaving work, and pretended to lust for him. When Norihide lifted me into his arms and kissed me (he is such a large man that there are several feet between our heights) I bit into my tongue, and fed him my blood. When I asked him to put my down, he was disappointed, but complied. I promised him I would be back the next night, and so it progressed that I enthralled and bound him to me. I know that without Norihide, I would never have gained access to the prisoners of Talmund, and thus access to food, and the ability to punish the most wicked of this sin soaked city, but still.. I regret it profoundly. Enthralling sentient creatures is the worst sort of slavery; slavery of the mind, and heart. Norihide loves me completely.. the hopeless, cruel love of a thrall. The way I went about it.. it is so terribly familiar that it makes me sick.
I lay here now, paying my penance for what I did to him; I lay on my side as sunrise approaches, Norihide’s warm body pressed up behind me, so large that, when standing, my forehead is level with his bellybutton. One of his arms is around me, larger than my torso, the hand of that arm around one of mine, and he is using his free hand to gently stroke my hair, inhaling the scent of me. I spend most my days so, now; I had originally planned to only grant him this once a week, following the night I let him imbibe me, but I know he values these moments with me more even than his own life, and so when he asks me to stay the day.. How could I deny him such a simple and easily granted pleasure, after what I did to him?
Norihide runs the tip of one of his fingers over the place my pinky and ring finger should be, and opens his mouth to ask me about it, but I cut him off, saying; “I would rather not speak on it.”
“A’course” He wraps his hand completely around mine protectively, then chuckles; “Never woulda thought I’d be in bed with a Devotee.”
I say his name in a warning tone, and he says; “I know, I’m sorry. I was only kidding around, Dee.Sorice, I’m sorry if I offended ya.”
I smile slightly at being addressed by my churchly title, and my voice softens as I say; “Do not worry, Norihide, no offense was taken; it is hardly your fault that you have such thoughts.”
Norihide’s arms tighten around me, and he is silent for a moment, before saying lowly; “I would love ya even without yer blood, ya know.”
I do not answer him, knowing he believes what he is saying, and knowing equally that it is as untrue said by him as it is when any thrall says it.
…Though, if I close my eyes, it feels comforting, natural and safe, enveloped in the strong arms of a man who loves me…. and so I keep my eyes open, focusing on the grotesque sight of my surroundings, and his wet, bloody, throbbing arm, until the very second the day sleep takes me.
(NOTE: Devotee is the title for people of the church of Thule who take vows of chastity and poverty, and who are trained to bring down the wicked. Originally, ‘D.’ was used as a short-form in written text, but the whole word was still said, much like ‘Mister Shaw’ is written ‘Mr.Shaw’, it would be ‘Devotee Shaw’, written ‘D.Shaw’. Over time people took to shortening the word when speaking as well, so now ‘D.Shaw’ would be said ‘Dee.Shaw’)