Brad Would Be A Bitch Here Too
The Inquisition was a bad time to be alive. So to speak. Blood fell like rain from storm the Inquisitors created. The screams of innocents probably still scar the heavens. The torture and murder of thousands, all so that those guilty of power and immortality would be eliminated.
We never wanted to be part of that deadly game. Our Embrace was willing, yes. We were blinded by the promise of better lives. Better is subjective. Forced to live off of human blood, we survived, justifying our own existence to ourselves. The Clan Tremere gave us immortality, and perhaps, in the most gracious act of kindness they ever performed, they sent us away.
Our mission was simply to study the pagan traditions in the center of the continent. Observe and record the magics. But when we arrived we found a place more beautiful and peaceful than we could have dreamed. We became revered nearly as gods, living in co existence with the people and from the land. We learned to draw our sustenance not from blood but from the land itself. We were so far from the cities and towns that were wiped out by Suspicion driven monsters that disguised themselves as disciples of a saving God. We thought we were safe in our haven.
We should have known better.
The warnings were there! The trees themselves were yelling at us, danger was coming. We thought ourselves above the war. We caused no harm. We had done NOTHING but accept a promise of life immortal. And we were trying to correct it. We had slowly been removing the need for human blood. We just needed more time and we would have fixed our own mistakes!
We couldn’t even protect the kine. The Inquisitors came on horseback, thundering hooves that warned even the dead that war was coming to our doorstep. We stood firm, defending ourselves in trial, defending the people who had helped us for so long. But quickly, the Inquisitors snake of suspicion turned them against us. They became spies, pointing out those among us who were Kindred. We began to hide, becoming part of the forest, of the trees themselves. So they burned down the forest. I watched my Sire burn alive. It was worse than I could have imagined. She was not a separate woman tied to a dead tree. She was the tree itself, screaming so that the earth wept and heaven covered its ears. There was no peaceful resting, only fear and anger and hatred tied her soul to this world. There would never be forgiveness.
Some of us escaped. We ran for our lives, away from our homes and our loved ones. We couldn’t even cry anymore because of what we were! For the first time in centuries, we felt like monsters. What right did we have to survive? We vowed to Embrace no others into this horrid curse.
We went back to the chanteries, to ask for shelter. But we found them burned with the same angry fire that took our home. Even fewer among us made it across the Atlantic. There were five of us left to make a new home. We lived with Native tribes in the America’s. We were strange to them, because of our natural magics combined with our European skin. But they accepted us thankfully.
Then the settlers came. We moved, trying to flee persecution. We found an island for ourselves. Small, fertile and isolated. After fifty years we put down roots. Maybe we were finally safe from people. Maybe the war might finally be over for us. We were so old.
But English settlers came, calling our home Roanoke. They tried to chop down our forests, abuse the land without consideration of mercy. They couldn’t see the pain, they seem to have been able to block the sight of tears and scars with a promise so similar to ours. The promise of progress. Perhaps we were irrational. After all, the memory of our family’s execution had not faded. We wiped out the colony. Three times. They kept coming back like unwanted rodents. So we tasted human blood again. We fed it to the earth, revitalizing her. The third time, something broke our blood haze. There was a boat, meant for fishing. While my brothers and sisters destroyed and devored the town, a few people tried to reach it, trying to escape the screams and terror. I was sent after them. No survivors, no intruders allowed. I reached the boat as they were pushing off. There was the smell of fear and anguish. But what caught me was the child.
There was a small child on the boat who stared at me, not even screaming. The terror in her eyes didn’t could be expressed by noise. It couldn’t be released so simply. I recognized that terror. I thought of the cries of my Sire, still haunting me so many centuries later, would follow this child to her grave. My haze fell away. I felt the coldness of the monstrosities we had committed. We were no better than them. I spoke to the child alone, “I am sorry for my anger. And I am sorry for the pain I can feel in you.” And I let the boat go. I came back to the town, halting the destruction. There were no other survivors.
We didn’t stay long after that. The five of us made our peace with the ghosts, begged what was left of their souls for forgiveness and left before the next boat of settlers arrived. We had released our anger onto innocents. Those who had butchered us were dead long ago and the time had come for us to make peace within ourselves. It was then we decided to start looking for a cure.
The Final Death inspires great fear in all living things. We did not want to die yet. We had so much to make amends for was the excuse we gave ourselves. So we got in touch with our roots again, finding isolated Mountains. We lived in harmony, building ourselves a home far away from others. Finally we were not disturbed. We listened this time when the earth and the trees told us the people were growing, building cities and becoming stronger.
Humans slowly began to venture into our mountains. But they did not do much. We offered them shelter sometimes, eager for news of the world. The government of this land called it New York. The city nearest was also called New York. It was supposed to be the most magnificent city on earth, teeming with life and activity. We fed on some of the humans, lulling them with our presence and then tasting the sweet nectar of their life. We let them live though. But we knew, where there were people, their were Kindred. The bigger the city, the more of them there were likely to be.
Curious, we made our way closer, leaving our refuge. That was another mistake. We should have stayed away. The five of us looked on as this “Magnificent City” fed itself on the blood of it’s people. And Kindred literally warred in the streets still, claiming ground like property. They abused their privilege and their power. Murder was a game. Embraced were common and barely staying hidden. It became clearer as days and years went by that the world ran on the directions of these horrible monsters. Perhaps this is what the Inquisitors saw at first. They needed to fix the problem of the monstrosities becoming powerful and unstoppable. But they in turn had become the monsters. Stopping the Kindred would stop the agony of the world.
We decided that mercy would finally be the choice we would make. We would cure us all of this undead life. And that would redeem us. We built a home, filled it with green life. We lived in a deep basement, following science, or perhaps science followed us. We wrote papers on the natural cures we learned over the years and in turn read about developments involving plants we never had encountered. We ventured out of the hole in the ground to feel the wind on our faces, and establish ourselves in scientific communities. We were this close to finding a cure. After so long, we would end the blight of our monstrous behavior without continuing the cycle of war! But the closer we come, the more the trees whisper warnings once more. As the nights grow darker I fear for our safety and for our chances of redemption.