Kindred Unity

The sun had just come down and I stood in front of my bed, where Marius still laid on the other side.  On my side of the bed laid several outfits.

I, looking from one outfit to another, looked up at Marius, “Which one do you think?” Marius dropped the papers he was skimming through, looked at me and said, “Honestly darling, its a market… at Red Skull Bay no doubt… I do not believe anyone is going to bother to take notice.” I put my hands on my hips and exclaimed, “Hmph…” I picked the black lace and silk dress with red velvet trim and walked towards the wash room to change.  Marius continued his reading. When I came out just a few minutes later, Marius put his reading aside, stood up from the bed and walked over to me as I was looking in the dresser mirror.  He bent down next to my chair, sitting on the back of his heels and wrapped his arms around my waist.  With his right hand, he ran his fingers through the back of my neck, separating my hair from the pale, stiff skin.  At his touch, I froze in place looking at him through the mirror.

A few hours passed, and I walked out of the tower and over to the Bloody Brew tavern where some of my friends had been gathering.  Rameses, who was a regular at the tavern, had already arrived and was talking with Edwin, our tavernkeeper. Pleb had apparently been there for a while now, and was assisting Edwin behind the bar.

Edwin was made nearly 150 years ago, his maker is unknown to us, but he had been around Umbra long enough to know the history of the undead that now resides there, as well as those that had abruptly left the land.  He is a great listener and keeps all our secrets.  Rameses enjoyed his talks with Edwin.

Pleb had joined us many moons ago, but when the coven decided to venture on beyond Sosaria, he had stayed.  Now that we had returned to these lands, Pleb was once again happy to reunite with old friends. His exact origin is not known, but he had been welcomed into our fold with open arms, for that he was most grateful.

As I entered, Rameses, Pleb, and Edwin were admist great laughter. I smiled at the sight of my friends indulging in this mortal pleasure. Rameses turned on his stool and now faced me with a smile. “Hello Dora dear… how are you this evening?” “I am well, m’lord, and thou?” I replied.

After taking my usual seat at the Brew, I dove into conversation with the vampires there surrounding the night’s events.  We were going to attend the notorious Black Market at Red Skull Bay as a way to check out what the well-known pirate town — and its dwellers — were up to.  Just then, we saw the Lady Izznet walk in through the door. Rameses felt her presence and looked up at Pandora, she looked back and stood up to greet the Lady.  “Lady Izznet, welcome to the Brew. How are you this eve’?”  I greeted my friend and motioned her to seat next to me.

I asked her to have a taste of my personal reserve that I kept at the Brew, Edwin told her he could warm it up for her if she’d like.  She refused, preferring fresh blood, as most vampires of her age do. We tried to convince her of the taste of AB-, but she didn’t budge. Izznet is a strong willed elven lady, a quality I admire in her. After a short while we decided it was time to head over to the Black Market.

We arrived to a friendly welcome by one who called himself Captain Aneirin of the Flying Dutchman. Another tenant there was named Cenika, and she was selling some very interesting things at her shop. A pirate named Norrar was also there as well, though briefly. And a gargoyle was among those presented, named Ravven. After a while, we were joined by Lt. Barnaby Baggins from the Royal Guard.

Our guess was that arrests may be in order as he perused the contraband that is certainly to be found in a black market; but it just seemed like he was gathering information. Lt. Baggins is part of the RBG regiment that commands in Umbra. It’s surely no doubt that word of CoD’s attendance to the Black Market spread through the office of his Captain, Kalmar Erikkson.

I browsed through the catalogs offered and found some very interesting items for sale.     When I ran my index finger through the catalog of the girl Cenika, I stopped at “Stripper’s License”. I exclaimed, “Oh my word, I have been taking off my clothes all this time without a license!” as I showed Lady Izznet where my finger had landed.  She laughed and blushed; certainly enjoying a bit of Kindred humor. Rameses had a look of horror on him, of course since he comes from a time where ladies would be stoned at the thought of admitting such a thing in public.  I sat near him and nudged him a little to put him at ease.  He then relaxed and gave me a slight smile.

Just then, another well known Kindred joined us. Va’lis Razele had paid us a few visits at the Bloody Brew tavern, he had explained to me some of his part and origin. As he walked into the Black Market, he seemed tentative and stressed. He looked up at me and gave me a half-smile, noticing the Lady Izznet. His gaze fixated on her. She didn’t seem to notice. He meandered through the shops, taking a few quick unfocused glances at the items on the catalog. Something was definitely vexing him. “Valis, are we to have much of your company tonight?” I said, smiling warmly at him. He gave a soft laugh as he answered, “It seems so m’lady.” He was almost instantly relaxed at our simple passive exchange.

Pleb took an early exit, as did the nice Lt. Baggins. And after spending some time musing around, taking in all the sounds and experiences, laughing and citing jokes — unusual for Kindred to enjoy, especially around mortals — we also took our leave. I asked my friends if they cared to come back to the Brew for some of my fine tasting special reserves. At first Izznet was reluctant, I could see a slight tension in her. Afterall, Podolak was not accompanying her as was his custom. She finally agreed to come and followed us back to the Brew.

Once we arrived, I informed Edwin to bring up some of the best AB- blood I had brought with me back from Earth. This was from a virgin donor, especially sweet. Lady Izznet was not accustomed to drinking from preserved blood, so I had to put on my charms with her again. Edwin had warmed it over the brick oven, so it was full of flavor and smell. So I handed Izznet my cup and told her to try it. She did. And she was surprised at how good it was. It seems that Sosarian vampires keep hardly any preserved blood in stock, so it was a bit unusual for them.

After a little while, through her telepathic gift — which seems to be more elven than vampiric — Izznet mentioned that she had to return to her own abode, ever so briefly. She excused herself and left the Brew. This left me in the company of Rameses, Valis, and our bartender Edwin. Rameses and Valis seemed uneasy with each other but their exchange was pleasant enough. There was some history between the two; both sides known to me, but that had not been a factor this evening. Shortly after, Izznet did return and took a seat near me.

After a little while, Valis took his leave for the evening, which by that time we were all well at ease with each other. He bid everyone a friendly farewell and exited the building in a quick flash. We vampires are so used to that.

The remaining of us were exchanging stories and talking about the evening’s events and the odd purchases I was able to make, when the door of the Brew swung open and in walked my old friend Amroth. He seemed in a rather good mood, oddly enough. Of course, upon his gaze of a new lovely female vampire he immediately turned on the charm. Amroth is one of our most dedicated workers; an architect, a smith, a tinker, and a construction master. He had designed the layout of our city, and was currently helping to construct the outpost for the RBG, as well as designs for the new Merchant Headquarters both in Umbra. He took a seat next to me, looked about the room, made a quick assessment of those in his company, then ordered his blood from Edwin. Edwin nodded and went to the stove to serve him a warm glass of our reserves.

Amroth quickly jumped right into conversation with the rest of us, and soon his manly wilds were at full display, as usual. He was in fact a big flirt and flirting with me had, through many centuries, gotten quite old. A new lady was just what he needed to let his hair loose. It was certainly funny to watch his interaction with Izznet. She was very open to him, almost inviting him to flirt with her. He took notice of her skin color, a rarity among those of us returning from Earth. Izznet is a dark elf; her complexion is not the usual pale, but a more luminescent slate gray if you will — very beautiful indeed. Her eyes are also stunning and Armoth couldn’t keep his stare off them. And let me mention that Amroth is married to one very beautiful lady named Marianna, his mortal wife who he turned only a few years after his own rebirth. But none the less, admiring the drow that sat near him he was.

Just then, we saw Podolak arrive. Podolak was one I had recognized from my earlier stay in Sosaria; had been around quite a long time. Izznet immediately stood to great her friend, they have a close connection that is visible to everyone in the room. Amroth turned to look at me, sending me a telepathic message asking me if that had been the same Podolak of old times; to which I gave a nod in agreement. I am pretty sure that Izznet being a much more studious telepath had picked up on this exchange as I have said before, her gift is not vampiric. Podolak took the lady’s hand with a smile and led her back to the bar, pulling a stool for her to sit in; always the gentleman.

I greeted our old friend and made introductions to those seated around the bar, just in case there was one that he may not know or remember to know. I then told him of our evening and the things that I had ordered, to which of course there was hardly any shock in Podolak that his friend Pandora would purchase a maid’s outfit and a stripper’s license. It seemed that just as I was telling Podolak about these items, the little lady Cenika stopped in to deliver them.

After her brief visit and departure, I took out the things in the package to inspect them. Then I believe it was Amroth that said I should don the outfit to model for the men in presence. I am not shy, not by a long shot, so I jumped up and ran upstairs to the small inn we keep above the tavern to change. As I came down to strut my new outfit, I noticed my paleness was much more evident. Since a lot of the outfit was white, it seemed to me I was washed in it. I needed someone to model it that had a bit more color. I looked at Izznet and thought, “Viola!” I turned to her and said with a devious smile, “Izznet, this outfit would look so much better on you because of your beautiful skin.” “Oh my word, would it! I reckon I am going to enjoy this…” Amroth was quick to say. I could tell that perhaps the lady would need more encouragement, so I tried to convince it. Podolak even agreed the outfit would be better served in someone with more color. It didn’t take too long to get her agreement, so we both walked up to the bedroom to change. I changed back into my dress of black lace, silk, and red velvet and Izznet changed into the maid’s outfit. When I looked at her, she truly was very beautiful — her skin glowed.  I knew if any of the single men of my coven had been around, they would be ferociously attempting to woo her. Not that being married was going to stop old Amroth.

When she came down, all the men stared at her. She was a site! I think her to be very sensual and desirable; she must have been so hard for any vampire sire to resist, and quite obviously was. I shot a mental note to Amroth, reminding him of the wedding band he wears. Of course, I am sure Izznet heard this as she did turn the corners of her mouth upward, a slight smile. Podolak seemed to enjoy watching his dear friend have a good time. Rameses was smitten, once again, by the site of a lovely female vampire, but his age gave way to the impulses he may have felt. A truly respectful and proper gentleman was Rameses demeanor and that certainly showed. Izznet went back upstairs to change and quickly came back to her seat that Podolak was holding for her…

Soon, we were back to laughing and conversing with each other, and everyone seemed in such great spirit — it was certainly great to see such unity among Kindred from all walks of our eternal lives.

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