The Last Letters Of Reginald Pole

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  • #3220

    Bnicleve
    Keymaster

    Date: 08/Nov/2120

    ATT: Dr. Antony Knight

    [Source text redacted – Archivist’s name obscured – thought to now be deceased – the following has been approved by the Council for broad release to the Library of Berlin]

    Brief: The following are excerpts from the last known correspondence of whom we believe to be a certain Reginald Pole.

    Clan: [redacted]
    Covenant: [redacted]
    Sire: [redacted].

    These texts precede the events of the Convocation of Predjama Castle in 2017 by some weeks. We do not yet know if these texts, which are frustratingly vague and missing vital excerpts are connected with the events of 2017. The Lower Council would like the learned opinion of the Scholars Accord before advising His Lordship of our findings. I don’t need to remind you of the severe penalties for allowing this material to be seen by anyone without security clearance of level five or higher outside the Library. I eagerly await your analysis.

    -M

    [Letter 1 – found: [redacted] condition: legible]

    12/May/2017

    Signorina Romano,

    I know that you have been waiting for this letter. I am sorry to say I had wished to never send it. There is much I have to answer for but I can only do this if I could be allowed the joy of watching the sun burn over the Anatolian sea with you.

    -R

    [Letter 2 – believed written the same night – condition: legible – found: [redacted]

    Mister Balan,

    How can I address the charges you are ready to present to me? How could there ever be an explanation that will satisfy you? I ask this of myself and know with dread certainty exactly how. But we cannot correspond on such matters unless you mean smoke your pipe over my tomb.

    -R

    #3230

    Lenora Minogue
    Keymaster

    16/05/2017

    Mister Reginald Pole,

    Long have I, indeed, waited for your letter, which inevitably has come. Sadly I am remiss of breath for you to bait as you do me. I had presence of mind enough to fathom I might see the Amorphophallus titanum (corpse flower) bloom across a halcyon deluge with the eyes of Argus upon us first. If you would lend answers, then I would borrow them gently and know what has truly brought this change upon you. I am not so easily swayed as our colleagues to dismiss your passion as welling up singularly from a Germanic serf boy of questionable lineage.

    Spero di sentirti presto, (Hope to hear from you soon)
    Signorina Alessia Romano

    #3248

    Chase
    Participant

    17/05/2017

    Mister Pole,

    I recall our last meeting ended quite abruptly.  I found myself most rudely awakened (as slumber is the recommended physic when a Ventrue opens his mouth) to the distressing sight of the violence you met upon our brethren.  I would have sought to correct you properly, but alas you left us like deflowered virgins, wide-eyed with nary a missive nor a sack of filthy coin.

    Pole you are a fool.  A damned, treacherous, hot blooded fool with all the forsight and reason of a rigid cock in the bordello, staining your trousers before the wenches could even inspect your pox!  However, I have never judged this quality poorly in you until this past indiscretion. Therefore, you may answer me double.  If you seek me out, truly repentant to explain yourself, I will treat you as brother, not a wanton sport.  You will find me more gentle in murder than love.  Else-wise, we may both put aside the ways of our clans: you to give reason and I to countenance it.  Our council does stand above divisions of blood after all.  But he who buggers fire will burn his cock.

    If your guilty blood will not mark the ground, than let your ink suffice.  I would hear the reasons for your treachery, what dread secrets it may damn me yet to know. Write anon, I shall drink wine with vermin beneath the gallows and await your words.

    -C

    #3249

    Bnicleve
    Keymaster

    Mister Balan,

    K.

    -R

    #3250

    Bnicleve
    Keymaster

    22/May/2017

    Mister Balan,

    Your vulgarities have never been more a comfort to me. You are, ever as I left you. And leave I did. Or is that too meek a verb? Should I have said departed? I think of death always. True death. Not this condition of petrified flesh that commands motion, speaks – thinks. Death. The raw material of an ending. It’s cold eventuality chills my words, stops them as the march through my teeth and I think even now I cannot speak to you as a brother. Speak the truth.

    It seems I am now all things to all people – traitor, schemer – MADMAN. Most emphatically the latter. I did leave. There is no more suitable verb to express it, after all. I left the Ordo. I left the Sanctum and I ran, Mister Balan. I ran until my boots were scoured from my feet. I ran, rage firing my flesh, until I found myself spent of blood and fell into a cave in the valley. I sheltered there for three nights and thought of nothing. I had shelled all my anger, my disgust and now it is wasted in the dust of the earth there. A huntsman happened close, a sportsman I should say, for who now but we hunt and slay to simply persist – I drank him whole and shuffled to his

    [This portion is illegible – evidence suggests a failed attempt at incineration. Contents likely negligible.]

    — I came to Morroco in this way. Night after night of toiling bereft of currency or trust and yet I somehow managed to bleed my way there. I think I had meant to make for heart of Africa. There are two or three Elois there that had offered refuge before – likely they would not be pleased to offer it again, I had become so very unlike them, drunken for all my unlife on the Lady’s fermented blood. Emboldened beyond reason and given to such hatred, such thirst for vengeance. I envy them now their dry peace. Such irony that we will never again know ourselves, brother, who we were before we supped from that crucible of blood. We are but vessels for the legion of voices that came before us. But I forget myself, again. How could I not?

    — knew someone had been pursuing me for a two nights. — malodorous crust of stale desert spices and the reek of camel, the Children of [redacted] are known by the curried vitae they devour and the company they keep. Had the Son of [redacted] contracted one of these tiresome Saracens to put a blade to my back? It wouldn’t have been petty. It would have been wise.

    [remainder illegible – see letter addressed to this Signorina Romano on 28/May/2017 – partial narrative appears to continue there]

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Bnicleve.
    #3267

    Bnicleve
    Keymaster

    28/May/2017

    [first page appears to be missing. Text continues with what we believe to be a similar narrative from the letter to Mister Balan]

    — not an overly long affair. A flash of teeth, steel, a pitiful scuffle that spilled into an alley until I found myself face to face with my attacker. All muddy skin and exaggerated features common to his unfortunate race. Would you believe it, Alessia? I had my hand round the neck of one of our cousins. He was a certain Ramzi al-Naim. One of the East’s dusky little wastrels. Barely of an age to be deserving of even that lowly posting. Still we are Cousins in the Blood are we not?

    I’m sure, you of all lofty and puffed up she-wolves can understand my disdain for them. It is one of the few distastes we shared. A little thread across the shaft from my chair to yours – one of the few that neither of us ever wished to sever.

    We have this at least, my dear.

    I can still remember the Lady railing about them before we took our Great Sleep. She was always a jealous creature. Before we even truly understood who and what she was there was ever that uneasiness about her. She was always hovering – oppressive and electrified like a storm cloud that would only threaten with a crack of thunder here and there and then she would blow herself out just as swiftly when her eyes went dim and we could all pretend she was just another Seer to be tolerated. Aetius often quarreled with her when she was in that docile guise about them. He wanted the Ordo to flourish in the East, the [redacted] have always thrived there, reaping the fruits of their filth in the far flung places that the Church had not yet influenced. The Lady never liked the schism that rose from this and I did not entirely understand why until I had tarried a time with Ramzi and remarkably it was the first thing he spoke of —

    [the remainder of this letter can be referenced in the archives. Level six security clearance required. Cataloged in Verbotene Literatur.]

    Brocklehurst ,Edward E.
    Fallacies and Fantasies: Old World Vampiric Lore and Heresies
    by Edward E. Brocklehurst
    Krasburg. – 1st ed. – Strauss :Von Verden Press, 2030.
    xvi, 367p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
    Includes index.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Bnicleve.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Bnicleve.
    #3269

    Bnicleve
    Keymaster

    [fragment of letter to Mister Balan – introduction lost]

    — I know a fanatic on sight. I am a careful study of this particular delusion – I need only look at my own reflection to read it’s schematics. But I am more careful. My fervor is only shown to those who will feel its wrath. Ramzi al-Naim was not so careful. He warned me that his words would go hard with me and that I should prepare myself. What he told me was heresy.

    After the Alamut, the assassins were broken. He told me they wrested their father from his slumber. They would prostrate themselves before him like wounded children and plead for him to avenge them, but no amount of blood would wake him. They poured an ocean of it down his throat, giving their own: first the ancillae and then the eldest of them. And still he did not rise. They had left him without succor for so long he was but a husk and this too they would grieve themselves over. They are poor custodians for their forbearers.

    And then he told me the worst of it.

    Someone, and he could not recall whom, one of them, some old Saracen witch, gave them the answer.

    “Blood is the poppy; flesh is the fire. Raise him in ash.”

    They started with the fledglings – they could spare them more easily. They gathered up the willing first and then staked and bound the dissenters. They took off their heads and piled the ash around him. When that would not do, then came the Ancillae –
    [following illegible – believe the next fragment to be the final page]

    — savages deaths for their savage father. Their rage had turned to madness. Ramzi did not say further, but I know the “unbelieving” as he put it, fled and if they are shrewd, they will keep fleeing – their savagery was successful.

    You may ask yourself now, out loud as you are want to do, what this means. Say something vile and smile in your cup; I hope it will comfort you.You already know what I mean to say next and you will tell yourself boldly that I have indeed run mad and am having a piss with you. You will tell yourself you read the rambling of an impostor or that the incognitas colors the words to their purpose. You will tell yourself whatever you require and yet you will know the next line before your eye falls upon it.

    Ramzi had existed but a century. [redacted] has been watchful for six.

    You know this because you were the first to understand what the Lady was and I know she told you much in those horrible moments where she recalls herself and recites with deadly precision every moonrise since [redacted].

    I know this now, Cosmin. I did not know it then. What cesspit in your soul did you cast this knowledge into? Why did you tell no one? Would we have believed you?

    [portion of this page illegible]

    — all that toil. All those years of war. The razing of [illegible] —
    I do not mourn the deaths of the Saracens lost to this deception. I mourn that I too was deceived. I mourn that I went with Ramzi to the East. I mourn that I leant myself to such depravity to serve at the feet of [redacted], who seemed a better master than the fickle Lady who plays a tune that no man’s feet could ever learn.
    [page appears missing – you will find what we believe is further explanation in the replies from Romano and Balan (assumed to be Cosmin). Their responses are frustratingly missing vital information and for reasons we cannot yet discern, their writing appears intentionally veiled. We have redacted information that has been deemed either treasonous or heretical as instructed by the High Council. The Lower Council may petition His Lordship for access but I do not believe they will be successful.]

    #3273

    Lenora Minogue
    Keymaster

    [fragment from a letter to Reginald Pole apparently from Signorina Romano – introduction lost dated 31/05/2017]

    — expecting to have a seat at the table as equals, yet calling themselves Children forever, not unlike the Asps of the desert they so despise as the two kick sand at each other’s caliginous faces to measure the virility of their vitae. The Saracens hawk about la loro merda (their feces), claiming the nobility of Kings while withdrawing to the heights of their rancid roost to conduct their low affairs. Ever boastful that they were the first to wet their swords on the blood spilled from that tainted well in Tunisia while being markedly few in actuality save our compatriot Mahjub Awad, who wisely Dispossessed himself of them. It is not their mere complexion that I loathe, but the thing that makes it rot and darken with years, the corruption, the heresy festering beneath their leathery skins. It is a darkness not dissimilar to the one that stalks the heels of the Keepers; I will treat with neither.

    We do have this. You and I.

    And a thread woven in distaste is often more enduring than one woven in mercurial fancy. I think of the Great Sleep and the dreams slipped between us all as we petrified, becoming indistinguishable from the stone we sat on, lifetimes together longer in death than life itself. Mahjub’s dreams came to me as colored as himself with the dread that at the atrophied heart of the conflict between East and West was a purposeful schism that ripped out the Cyclopean eyes and sewed shut the lips of the Delphic oracles in a Sea of Shadows. The Sea has risen again too, and of all things, from its own calm reflection. The irony is of some dread amusement to me that would hackle you, never caring for my umorismo scuro (dark humor).

    This once, I will be like Argus and show you Mercy. Though on the condition that you remunerate me. I do not have Vestia’s charity.

    Tell me of our hungering cousins in the desert and what their heathen barbarism has wrought. Tell me what has brought you to ink your soul to a page. Tell me because we no longer have the ease of slipping dreams in the Great Sleep and must resort to a messy tangle of words…

    Il grande sonno — io quello
    Infinito silenzio a questa voce
    Vo comparando: e mi sovvien l’eterno,
    E le morte stagioni, e la presente
    E viva, e il suon di lei. Cosi tra questa
    Immensita s’annega il pensier mio:
    E il naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.

    [remainder unavailable – seems to have been intentionally carefully cut away with precision, rather than hastily torn out, translation of the surviving passage is as follows:

    The Great Sleep – I compare
    that infinite silence to this voice:
    and I recall to mind eternity,
    And the dead seasons, and the one present
    And alive, and the sound of it. So in this
    Immensity my thinking drowns:
    And to shipwreck is sweet for me in this sea.

    Additionally, intonations in dialect shifts between now and the last century may further obscure the meaning of this passage. Further documentation from the scholars regarding the interpretation of this passage can be obtained with a level six security clearance.]

    #3279

    Bnicleve
    Keymaster

    [moderately fragmented letter, remarkably personal and reflects a distinct shift in how he addresses S. Romano]
    4/June/2017

    Alessia,

    I am in HolyHead this night. My troubled steps have brought me to Wales and an emerald coast beckons me from across the Irish sea. There are no dragons here; only wolves. I can hear them crying to the waning moon and smell the cloak of flesh they wear as they sup honestly with kine in timber pubs and later fuck them round a fire in the crags near the shore. Please do not forgive my rude discourse on the matter; I know it titillates you.

    I do not begrudge them their idolatry; I have become accustomed to savagery. I only give them passing mention to illustrate the great peril in which I place myself to continue my hellish vocation – and because I am reminded of you. I recall only once ever witnessing you call upon the darkness, do not mistake me, I do not mean the shade a candle throws against the wall, or the curve of your hair against your throat…

    No, Alessia, I mean the darkness. I mean It.

    — the Tophet Well, when we believed that [redacted] was stirring under the salted earth there. We heard Aetius breaking words with the Whore of Babylon above. There was a tremor, some fell incantation spoken, stone and dust smothering us and we four that weren’t already buried fled. It was not death we feared but the horror of unending torpor beneath the plagued ground. What had we condemned [redacted] to all those ages ago? Did she feel the sting as the salt scoured her flesh from her bones in the dark? Did she smell the carrion of her degenerate children as they burned above? Hear their screams? Did she regret? Did she mourn? Or did their pitiable cawing sound to her like a pheasant dying of birdshot in the brush – the meat too spoiled now to set upon the bride’s table and be eaten at the wedding feast. Did she only loathe that she left the best portion to be devoured by the Ventrue and not her own jaws?

    I know that you shared these dark fancies. I saw your mind just before. I saw the fear, true earnest gut rotting fear, rise up in you as you called out to your estranged master and parlayed with the scruples you so fiercely held to barter for your dead flesh. I saw you yield to it and shift into that hated form so freely taken by your grandchilder; a great ebon-wolf. I do not wonder why you never speak of them; though their fulvous eyes betray you as their kinswoman. Your noble blood putrefied by the unworthiness of their stock. It rebelled against them and became a mechanism to their madness. Now your granddaughter has bought herself a crown with the labors of her cunt and the platitudes on her lips and I think how very far the raven has flown the rookery. You have never crafted with such mean devices.

    [will confer with Professor Braun on whether or not to redact the above. While mine is not to censor; it is to understand, the Lower Council will likely find this writing subversive and raise issue with M. I would like to avoid the very real threat of rescinded grants. In any case, these musings appear to proceed to another page but that has been lost to us. Pole appears to resume his exposition in the next letter]

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Bnicleve.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Bnicleve.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Lenora Minogue.
    #3283

    Lenora Minogue
    Keymaster

    [the surviving fragment of what appears to have been an extensive letter from Signorina Romano to Reginald Pole, heavily shredded by what seems to have been an animal dated 08/06/2017]

    —but then that is hardly of any real surprise to you. Avitus Lucillus can be insufferable with either a woman or a book firmly in hand. Though you must hear past my glib tongue and know I give voice to his vulgarities to obscure mine. I do detest speaking of them, the shame it brings.

    The De’Lormes, what a grievous blight, a darkness even within darkness itself. To call them an accident of blood is to put it far too mildly. They are a bane, unworthy of il sangue nostro (our blood) and forever tainted by darkness. But the Medici has been punished, eaten by the young fathered incautiously from his loins once removed. It is enough. Festering wound though they are, a shameful passel of a pack to the last of them, I would never tarnish my hand by lifting it to the De’Lormes. What could I give them anyway but a death that would simply send them further into their own personal blackened hells? They are Keepers after all, and they can keep their darkness to themselves. As they already have, irrevocably polluting themselves by so freely associating with Night incarnate. Contrary to what is believed, we are not without a twin in the glass; it is just too dark for anyone else to see, and it grows ever more in shadow.

    I do not envy what they must see.

    It is best just to let that umbrageous, crumbling castle in Laval fall to its own ruin. That piquancy of destruction is just another depth of the Sea’s darkness; it is very cold down there. And I wish for a little warmth from time to time.

    And your voice has warmth in it, a familiarity. Perhaps it’s warmed so thoroughly by the blood of the whiskey-seasoned Welsh in their ramshackle timber hovels or by playing fetch with those mangy wolves. Una nota di avvertimento (a note of caution), Reginald, they will say you are a Gangrel soon. Are charges of treachery not bad enough?

    The Welsh though, they are a pygmied people of thick bones and bulbous, dark eyes, part changeling themselves and half-belonging to the forest, and it does not surprise me that wolves snort and sniff between their legs, paw the tender flesh there, and rut with their kinfolk. The Welsh speak so unpleasantly like the fetid flapping of a puttana’s (whore’s) lips meeting in a scabrous shore. If there is a twisted branch, a bleak bend in the road, where the Whore of Babylon may be welcome outside of the reviled East, it is Wales. Filled with pagan bewitchment, the seduction of far-flung misted corners has drifted across Wales for centuries, subtly affecting their sensibilities even when the heart of its meaning is forgotten.

    I have not forgotten.

    Not forgotten the black bargain I made in that salted-pitch patch of ruined earth, an evil place for evil things. I know the Sea will rise and demand its pearl from me.

    I did fear.

    I fear still.

    For this and more. It was folly that in our fatigue, our fear, we hid behind the eye of Argus, assuming the ferocity of her gaze drove the devil away on a seven-headed beast while we licked our harried wounds, while we trembled and stayed quiet as unclean blood was paraded into our midst—

    —He is dead, but she is not. And the female of many species is often deadlier than the male. And I know—

    [The rest of this letter is shredded, but notably, S. Romano’s tone shifts here as well, as she dispenses with the previous formality, addressing Reginald Pole by his forename.]

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