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stnylan

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Ah, nosferatu.

Wretched creatures.

Fagin is an...interesting choice for a name. I wonder who chose it?
What's in a name? :) Though you will have noticed I have quite deliberately so far avoided some particular WoD terminology.

Another glimpse behind the curtain. Albert has a reputation, it seems, and one which his own associates (I somehow get the sense Albert wouldn't call Fagin a "comrade") feel free to call upon for their own benefit.
Going back to Lois McMaster Bujold (who is one of my favourite writers), she has one of her characters make this distinction between honour and reputation. Honour is what you know about yourself, reputation is what other people think they know about you. The corollary being you cannot control one's reputation - it belongs to others. All one can do is make use of it.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Seems to have served as someone's executioner in the medieval term. A killer and a torturer/hack artist for a lord. Bloody work indeed, especially for a vampire.
 

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As has been noted, and interesting name. Perhaps because he runs ’younglings’ (of some wretched zombie like sort)?

And people think Darth Kelebek is a nasty piece of work In TT! An amateur compared to the lords and satraps here, clearly. ;)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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As has been noted, and interesting name. Perhaps because he runs ’younglings’ (of some wretched zombie like sort)?

And people think Darth Kelebek is a nasty piece of work In TT! An amateur compared to the lords and satraps here, clearly. ;)
Don't think I'd ever just cut people's limbs off for money (or the vampire equivalent). K would get an underling to do it, as Lord M obviously did...

Not sure whether the various curses on vampire clans exist but he certainly does seem to be in charge of the urchins for whatever reason.
 

stnylan

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Seems to have served as someone's executioner in the medieval term. A killer and a torturer/hack artist for a lord. Bloody work indeed, especially for a vampire.
All I will say at this time is that there are several assumptions in this reply that are not entirely correct.

Albert is not someone you want to mess with, evidently
That is certainly fair, but then that was probably evident from his first appearance.

As has been noted, and interesting name. Perhaps because he runs ’younglings’ (of some wretched zombie like sort)?
Names are funny things.

And people think Darth Kelebek is a nasty piece of work In TT! An amateur compared to the lords and satraps here, clearly. ;)
Don't think I'd ever just cut people's limbs off for money (or the vampire equivalent). K would get an underling to do it, as Lord M obviously did...

Not sure whether the various curses on vampire clans exist but he certainly does seem to be in charge of the urchins for whatever reason.
Not sure I can comment on Kelebek :)

Lord Albert’s seems like a particularly workmanlike cruelty. I’m not sure whether that makes it more or less palatable…
Workmanlike is certainly what I was hoping to convey.

Just letting you know I've nominated you as the next CharactAAR writer of the week
I've seen. Thank you :)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Not sure I can comment on Kelebek :)
Difficult to discuss kelebek. A bizarre creature of the forums. Much like dr who, everyone threw their little bit into this strange character.
 
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El Pip

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If even someone like Fagin with a large brood and a reputation for being useful still things a relatively minor faux pas requires grovelling in apology, it does appear it is misery all the way down. Which in fairness you expect from Vampires - they aren't nice beings so of course wouldn't have a nice society.

Not looking good for the chances of a happy ending is it?
 

TheButterflyComposer

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If even someone like Fagin with a large brood and a reputation for being useful still things a relatively minor faux pas requires grovelling in apology, it does appear it is misery all the way down. Which in fairness you expect from Vampires - they aren't nice beings so of course wouldn't have a nice society.

Not looking good for the chances of a happy ending is it?
Much like all organised societies built on fear, its going to come out at all points, because the higher ups can kill everyone else with impunity and everyone knows that. Double so for vampire rankings because they literally can do so, often without warning and at random. So even a middling ranking useful chap like...er...fagin, is going to get nervous when he mucks up in front of one.
 
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stnylan

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@TheButterflyComposer
TBC - One small request, in this thread please could you refrain from swearing in your posts here? Thank you.

If even someone like Fagin with a large brood and a reputation for being useful still things a relatively minor faux pas requires grovelling in apology, it does appear it is misery all the way down. Which in fairness you expect from Vampires - they aren't nice beings so of course wouldn't have a nice society.

Not looking good for the chances of a happy ending is it?
As to happy endings, one of my favourite writers is C J Cherryh. As fellow old-timer @Storey once stated whilst Cherryh's protagonists usually end up in a better place than they started, it frequently takes a lot of squinting to call it necessarily happy. Come to think of it the same is also often (though not as consistently) true for another of my favourite authors, Guy Gavriel Kay.

I would note though that, because of my choice of characters so far, we are mostly seeing this society at its divisions, where it crosses boundaries. We have yet (because I have not yet written such) much in the way of two friends talking, for example.


Next update should be up soon.
 
Last edited:
Chapter 1.11 - Martin - Two Nights Later

stnylan

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Chapter 1.11 - Martin - Two Nights Later

Martin was glad when the summons came. For two nights and days he had followed his orders, and ensured the boy had come to no harm. The flat in Shadwell was a grimier place than the young Martin had ever known, but no one troubled them. Annie went out with one of the others to get food whilst Martin made sure to stay in. If there was trouble, it was where he needed to be.

But there had been none.

A half-hour after the sun had set he felt it like the peal of a bell - it was time. He stood - causing the others to stop their chatter with the swiftness of his action. The boy watched him too. “Annie, get the lad into those new clothes. The rest of you, Sunday best. Annie - you’ll stay here. I want us on the move before the hour tolls.”

As Annie took the boy into the back room Martin heard him ask, “How does he know?” Annie’s reply was cut off by the closing door. As he waited for the others Martin closed his eyes and breathed deeply, concentrating on the feeling within him. It was a trick the old one had taught him … but it was hard to do when he could hear the groans of the slum without.

Breathe, concentrate on the sense of knowing where you are desired … desired to be … to be where … maybe.

He opened his eyes to see Annie hustling the young Martin towards him, looking probably as smart as he had ever done so. The others - well they looked exactly like they were, rough men who had put on some smoother clothes.

“Henry, lead. Angus - the rear. Paddy, with me and the boy. Let’s get to the station first.”

He was sure they formed a curious little convoy for those with eyes to spot such things. In Shadwell itself their clothes stuck out like a princess in a pigsty, but once out onto the main road he trusted his crew enough to not be too obvious - but still. By the time they reached the station he was surer. “London Bridge,” he said. The boy was being very quiet, which suited Martin. At least he was looking better fed.

They travelled through the underground in almost silence. By the time they emerged again to the outside the weak evening twilight was rapidly turning to its sooty winter black. Leaving the mess of the station behind they walked the short distance to Guy’s Hospital - the lad starting to get nervous. Waiting for them was Bartholomew. Martin said to the other three, “Wait nearby. If you don’t see me after an hour, go home. Boy, with me.”

“You sure?” Angus asked.

“No point getting bored if I’m longer.” Angus nodded, and with Henry and Paddy stood back. Bartholomew approached.

“No trouble?” he asked. Martin shook his head, and put his hand on his namesake’s shoulder. Bartholomew followed the motion.

“Follow me.”

“How’s my parents?” young Martin blurted out.

“All in good time,” Bartholomew replied, “now come.” Martin had to give the lad a gentle push to get him moving, as Bartholomew led them into the warren that was the hospital. With some interest Martin noted they were climbing up stairs, rather than down. They came to a door flanked by two guards. One nodded to Bartholomew and opened the door, revealing a short corridor. Bartholomew walked to the first room, and turned holding out his arm indicating they should go in.

With his heart thudding in his chest Martin did, propelling the boy in front of him, and there was His Master, standing in the corner and with His back turned. Suddenly breathless Martin felt the exhilaration of his duty done, of the fulfilment of His Master’s desire. It was so strong at first he didn’t even see the others there - Lady Parr, Darius of the Master’s family, and a figure Martin did not know but who seemed to be a doctor.

This one was speaking, “... take it this is the child of my patient? Excellent. Come my boy, I am sure you want to see your father.” Tall, with a long high head and wispy hair he seemed incongruously at ease with bustling young Martin out.

Martin swallowed. Darius was sitting on a chair pushed up against one wall, and Lady Parr stood next to a large desk. She signalled Bartholomew, who closed the door behind them - staying out of the room. His Master turned around.

“Martin. Up.”

Martin stood, not having realised he had knelt. His Master had moved to stand next to Lady Parr. “I tasked you to find out if there was anything amiss in Robert Williams’ disappearance. You have done well.”

Martin could not help but smile - though he did manage not to grin. “I live to serve,” he murmured.

“Darius,” His Master said. “Observe my servitor. He is bound, yes, but the ties of blood are strengthened by the value in which I hold him.” Martin felt a singing in his soul. “Anyone can be a tyrant. Only the chosen few can ascend. Let this be a lesson in what follows.”

The young-looking man gulped “Yes, my Lord,” in reply.

His Master spoke again to Martin. “Martin, I have two tasks for you. Robert Williams is to join our service under the dominion of young Darius here. He will need assistance adapting to this new existence.” His Master noted Martin’s expression. “You have a question?”

“Master, what of Mrs Williams?”

“Dead,” Lady Parr answered. “Her husband would be to, if not for entering your Master’s service.”

“Does Master Darius have any instructions for me on this matter?” Martin asked.

“A good question Martin. Darius?”

The young-looking Master stood sharly, as if he realised he was the only one seated. “Ah … perhaps just to remember that, at some point, I will need to train him in my desires,” he said.

“Master,” Martin acknowledged, and turned back to His Master. “The second task, my Master?”

“The second task is to continue this investigation. You will operate under the direction of Lady Parr.”

“Mistress,” Martin said, bowing low. It was not the first time.

“Your Master honours me highly,” Lady Parr said. “And we will discuss it presently. Before that, there is an undertaking to be completed. I will be waiting for you and Mr Williams at my office.”

“Lady Parr,” the Master said, “you have my trust in this matter. Darius, Martin, time to see this through.”
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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TBC - One small request, in this thread please could you refrain from swearing in your posts here? Thank you.
Fixed.

The running theme of ascension, and martins discomfort with it happening to other people...

Wonder how long he'll keep this part of his humanity?
 

stnylan

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Fixed.

The running theme of ascension, and martins discomfort with it happening to other people...

Wonder how long he'll keep this part of his humanity?
Thank you TBC

Never quite thought of it as ascenion before, but the word is not entirely inaccurate. And of course there is other game in the WoD line.... :D
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Thank you TBC

Never quite thought of it as ascenion before, but the word is not entirely inaccurate. And of course there is other game in the WoD line.... :D
Quite. It's certainly a big change. Whether or not the specific text goes into souls, death or whatever, pretty much all vampires across all fiction tend to see becoming one as a big deal, and usually as a kind of transcendence, death or reincarnation effect rather than suffering from a disease like being a werewolf usually is.
 

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I fear for the boy.
 

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Mr. Williams has saved his life (or what was left of it, anyway), though perhaps at the cost of his soul.
He chose... poorly.

Then again this whole "bound" malarkey seems to imply most of his free will getting wiped out and replaced with a desperate desire to please the senior sociopath. While that seems a quite terrible trade to me, if he never much valued his free will in the first place (some people don't) then perhaps it's not quite so poor a choice for him. And of course not everyone can have the equipoise in the face of death that Professor Cannerby had at the start of this work, so I can't judge the man too harshly. I can, and do, pity him though.