The light shone, like a great eye, over a pillar depicting battles of antiquity and the seven hills of Rome, Camilla leading forces against tainted Carthage, and it read in boldly familiar words… “Regere Sanguine Regere In Veritatem Est” (To rule in blood is to rule in truth). A door opens to an antiquated crypt, and into the distant past of the County of Krasburg, when the heart of it was little more than a bare settlement with some walls. And those walls were under siege, distant shouting heard, and a familiar battle cry rings of “Vohzd! Vohzd! Vozhd!”
A man marches in, covered in armor. You realize this is the original Count of Krasburg, Kras, and your sire. He is bloody and bent, riddled with treacherous Tzimisce living arrows that writhe like pestilence, which he plucks from his armor and crushes under his boot heel. He drives his sword into the ground, and then howls out a indecipherable name in biting anguish. There is near defeat in it. Though he was Ventrue and dare not speak its name.
Kras growled, “Come witch! I’ve need of you!”
A green mist appears at Kras’ shoulder and forms into the crimson-haired creature, adorned in layers of armor, and the thick hides and horns of beasts.
Lenora said softly, a coo in her voice, “How fortunate, I have need of you too, Kras.”
He snapped at her, grabbing her sharply by the arm.
“Don’t toy with me. I’m in no mood for it. The Tzimisce are breaking through our gates with their filthy creatures.”
“Then the dream of your Krasburg is about to die just as it is born still wrapped in its swaddling unless… you’re willing to give me a son.”
Kras scoffs, shoving her aside, and says with some measure of scorn.
“Such things are beyond this cursed flesh, thankfully.”
“A Ventrue childe, one of my choosing, our son.”
Kras hesitated, his great pride nearly toppling him, but then the sounds of battle grew closer, the gate about to give way.
If Krasburg fell here, it would be the end, the end of his County, and it would fall into fiendish claws forever.
Kras said, at last, heavily, lowering his sword, as if it had grown too heavy in his hand. ”
He must be a worthy knight and left to me to train as I see fit.”
Lenora: “As it should be. And you may train him for all the length of your nights.”
Kras: “Then you’ve my word. A Ventrue son. Now your part.”
Lenora lifted up Kras’ visor, the depths of her eyes, forests moving over his face, a face shielded from your sight.
“Such a face, Antonius no doubt claimed he gave you the kiss for the sake of strategy, but in your eyes, his heart, his love. Such a shame no one else will ever see this face again.”
With that she turned on him and spewed the fires of hell onto his armor, causing him tremendously agonizing pain, his flesh charring and smoking through the cracks of the armor, and yet he did not die. And he would not die, as long as he wore the blackened armor, no blade, no torch, nothing of this world would kill him, except for the very flames of hell which had touched him this night. He recovered, but the scars would never smooth beneath the armor, a reminder of Hell’s bargain. Kras rushed to protect Krasburg, a powerful unstoppable symbol that galvanized his men, and turned the tide of battle much like Ventru in his own himself, in his own blackened armor, had once done. And she who had so many names and yet no seemingly definitive one at all smiled with blood red lips, the color of a fresh wound, of whores, of aching thirst. Yes, she smiled. And it was a wet, devouring thing.