[size17 [Josefin+Sans [#415062 †] They say that Soulmates are "two halves of the same soul". What they don't tell you, is that it's practically [i impossible] to find them.
[#415062 †] But what if yours had been sleeping for nearly four hundred years - sealed away in a tomb, awaiting your arrival?
[#415062 †] ___________'s expectations in life had never been particularly high; get through college, finish his degree, discover the job of his dreams.
[#415062 †] Well, his world gets a lot more complicated when he's awarded an internship opportunity overseas and has to venture to the Capital City of Bucharest in Romania. He's been afforded the opportunity to work in alliance with one of the most prestigious historians in Western Europe, and it isn't an opportunity he's about to pass up.
[#415062 †] What's more, ___________ sees this as a means of connecting with his heritage and trace back the roots of the ___________ family. What he doesn't expect, is that the closer he gets to the dark truth of his ancestors passed, the closer he is to reliving it.
[#415062 †] Well. . . [i [b living]] is subjective, anyway.
[#415062 †] [i [b [#0b5cad The Mortal]]]; he is a History major with a minor in Mythological studies, whose family originated in Romania - primarily nestled in the countryside before their departure a mere two generations prior. His thirst for knowledge is what attracts him, but his taste for adventure is what urges him to wade deeper into the dark and unbelievable mysteries of old. He is the first and only son within the last generation of the main house of the ___________ family. He possesses 'power', but it has been bound indefinitely by forces unknown.
[#415062 †] [i [b [#0b5cad The Vampyre]]]; [i he] has slept for nearly four hundred years, a prisoner to his tomb by the powerful Warlock that damned him, and in lieu of his imprisonment, his love was stolen away from him - slain - soul cast to forever skip among flesh over the generations - guarded by a magic set forth by the Warlock himself. With the return of ___________ blood to Romanian soil, his awakening was unstoppable. He will stop at nothing to reclaim what has been taken from him and repay those that crossed him in kind.
[#415062 †] This is going to be set in modern day, in Bucharest, among other places. Really, the setting will evolve and more 'fictional' bits of it will come to be, but this will be set in Western Europe for reference.
[#415062 †] ___________ is the reincarnation of The Vampyre's lost love. Since a young age, he has always been considered an 'old soul', and has suffered from strange 'dreams' since the age of thirteen. His deep interest in history stems partially from these half-recovered memories, and partially from the history he carries in his veins. The ___________'s bloodline is shrouded in secret, with a past written in blood. Now that everything has set into motion, he [i will] discover the truth - down to the vow that began it all.
[#415062 †] ___________ is basically pissed, out for blood, and highly determined to take back what was once stolen from him. That aside, he can be anything you want - I leave that artistic liberty completely up to you!
1) Have fun.
2) Be honest.
3) Posts should be 1200+ characters, unless there is a scene that calls for any less.
4) Effective grammar and punctuation.
5) Stick around! Stay a little while, and if it isn't for you, just let me know. Refer to rule two!
And that's it! Hit me up with a PM titled [i [b Battle Born]] if you're up for it. (;
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Eli glanced at Ioann. "Uh...I don't know? Don't look at me," he said, half joking, half freaked out. What the hell was going on? If this was the catacombs, then why was it lighting up for them to invite them in? "Maybe this is, like, last year's haunted house?" Not that there was a haunted house last year..."
Oh man. He felt chills go up his spine. This felt like a real adventure not. Like something out of one of his fantasy books. He grinned at Ioann and descended deeper into the stairs. As Ioann had predicted, the torches lit up ahead of them as they descended into the dark staircase. The walls were stone, dank and dusty. Dust was kicked into the air with every step, stairs heavily laden to the point that they left darker footprints behind.
"This is spooky as fuck," Eli breathed.
Behind them came an almighty thump, and the light dimmed drastically. Eli glanced back, startled. The secret door had closed on its own, leaving them in only the torchlight.
He ran to the door and pushed on it. It wouldn't budge. Eli's heart started racing. He pushed harder, putting all his strength into it. [i Open, open, open!] No dice. Not even a twitch.
Eli looked over at Ioann, trying to hide the panic on his face. They were trapped. They could only go forward. He turned, swallowing. Forward into the darkness and the unknown.
Alexandru thumped into the room, big boots clomping. He preferred the outdoors, but some conversations had to be had in private. "What comes next, Luca? What are we to do with our reincarnated friend, eh? Getting into trouble again, the madwoman. Madman."
He picked up a glass of tea, tiny and delicate in his huge hand, and tossed it back in one swig. "It'll go the same way it ever does, and he'll be dead again before we know it." Curses were brutal like that. Even he felt like a couple centuries were more than enough, but the curse was still going strong.
Yeah, they’d found... it, all right. But what exactly was it? Where did it lead? He swore if it ended up just being a really cool wine cellar he’d be disappointed. In his mind, Ioann was expecting a fun-filled adventure, and despite knowing how terrible it was to get his hopes up, he couldn’t help but let his mind wander.
“We did- shall we?” Ioann had already climbed down into the hidden pathway, very aware that they would need some form of light if they were going to do this without dying. Except, as he fumbled for his phone, a flame came alight in the near distance, illuminating only a portion more of the steps.
“Do- do you think it does that all the way down?” He wasn’t sure how to feel. And how the hell had it just come to life on its own?
Well, whatever the case, they would have to find out. Somehow, he felt it too late to go back now.
* * *
Back at the manor, Luca had summoned Alexandru to the library, having prepared tea for their discussion of how to go about handling recent events. It was one thing for such oddities to come to pass at random, but in such close contiguity with Ioann’s arrival, it begged the question as to whether the two were related.
More importantly, it seemed they had some sort of ghostly fiend on their hands, and such exposure would not be tolerated. Not after all they had suffered over the centuries.
“Alexandru,” he called, his tone even. Though he knew the man was rooms away, he was sure he would hear him. “Tea is prepared. It’s time to discuss what comes next.”
Especially if this had anything to do with the past. That certainly could complicate things - especially if it involved [i him].
He could sense... something. Even in the middle of the day, he could sense it. Casimir opened his eyes and sat up from the floor of the mausoleum, looking around. What was it? What had woken him? The sun was still high, and he was still weak. He shouldn't be awake at this time.
The scent. The damned scent. Casimir rose, stalking deeper into the mausoleum, past long-dead humans and their rotting coffins. The floor? He frowned and knelt by the stones, tapping one after another. One rang hollow. He wedged his fingers under the stone and pushed it open, revealing a set of stairs set into the floor.
A pale eyebrow lifted. Secret stairs in his place of imprisonment? Had some of his allies survived? Curious, he descended.
"Holy shit, dude," Eli said, amazed. He'd been looking for these things for years, and Ioann just came down here and found it? Or at least, found something. No guarantee it was the catacombs.
A secret switch. He pulled on some of the books at random. That was what it usually was in movies, right? He tipped one particularly large book back, then snorted. What was he doing? That was ridiculous--
A panel in the floor clicked, and a trapdoor popped open, old hinges squealing with the pain of motion after so long. A dark chasm awaited them. He could make out stairs, but then nothing. The air was so thick with dust that he could barely penetrate its depths.
"Um," Eli said, swallowing. "Well. Looks like we found it."
Deep in the catacombs, a pair of bright red eyes opened. Two sources of sound. Two sources of motion. A head lifted, nostrils scenting the air. Cold death from one side. Warm life from another.
The creature moved, slowly prowling the corridors towards its prey. No one would escape this domain alive. No one could.
[center Secret catacombs? Now [i that] definitely sounded more apealing than combing through a bunch of dusty records. And who knew - what if they truly did find something? The adventurer in him wanted to know more, and it would be the first he’d ever have entered a catacombs before.
And okay, maybe he was getting a little too hopeful here, but what was there to lose? Either way, he’d be learning. One option just proved to be monumentally more enticing than the other.
Eli was still leading him ever deeper into the stacks, weaving occasionally, and Ioann could’ve sworn that the farther they went, the darker it became. As if the light had more difficulty penetrating these farther back areas. He squinted against the lower light, blinking a few times as they sought out this supposed entrance.
There were so many aisles, filled to the brim he soon realised, with tomes. They were old, and the air here was certainly heavier than up front, but something about the atmosphere told him he was looking at serious history. He’d have to remember to peek through some of the volumes to see what history they enclosed.
Eli, on the other hand, had busied himself with seeking out this rumoured entrance. If he put a secret entrance back here, it made the most sense that it would be by means of a cleverly placed spanse of false wall, but the more he turned over the idea, the more it seemed to obvious.
Behind him, Ioann was wandering about the aisle, awestruck by the immaculate condition of everything. Kind of dusty back here, true, but still relatively well cared for.
It was as he made his way across to inspect another stretch of wall that he took pause, retracing his steps a few times and tapping the heels of his shoes against the floor.
“Did you hear that..?”
“Listen.” He tapped again, nearly holding his breath. “An echo...”
[i Bingo]. Looks like they might’ve found something at least, but how exactly did they verify?
“If is not just some random crawl space or something,” Ioann began, rather sure based on the echo that it couldn’t have been. “Then how do we see what’s down there?”
“There has to be a switch or a trigger.” No way someone put a secret compartment or pathway, or whatever the hell it was and didn’t leave behind a means of access.]
At seeing Ioann's crestfallen face, Eli flicked the other man's chin with a mischievous grin. "But," he continued, unlocking the front door with his ID badge and holding it open for Ioann, "there is a rumor..."
They stepped into the quiet space of the archives. From behind a nearby counter, the ancient librarian who watched over the stacks didn't even bother with a glare in their direction. Eli glanced in her direction and raised a finger to his lips, then led Ioann deep into the stacks. Once they were deep enough, he turned towards the man with a whisper. "If you're up for a little adventure, there's supposedly a route to the catacombs from deep within the stacks."
The catacombs themselves were half legend. They weren't as extensive as Paris', supposedly, unless you listened to the old men who claimed they went even deeper, wider, more pervasive. Secret catacombs that housed bodies from a war that had never been fought--[i officially,] at least. It was all a legend, nothing more than a fairy tale, but he figured he and Ioann could have a little fun poking around looking for them.
"What do you think?" he asked, glancing at Ioann. It'd be funner than spending all afternoon actually doing his research, for certain.
[center At least there was that. He didn’t want to be seen as a thief after all that. The reassurance was definitely well appreciated.
Soon they had arrived at the archives, and upon stepping out, Ioann couldn’t help but wonder at the very plain exterior. Well, this certainly wasn’t what he was expecting. But you know, not everything was like the magickal archives. Not that he would have known as much anyway.
As he rounded the car, he took care to think Forina and gave her a hug, Eli close behind. He could hear him saying something to her about meeting up later if she was interested and found himself turning a soft shade of pink.
That was definitely none of his business, so he kept it moving toward the entrance and lifted his hand in one final adieu before proceeding to push open one of the heavy doors. He waited for Eli, using his body to keep the door ajar, and trailed after the man once he’d taken the lead since he had absolutely no idea where he was going.
“Were these built recently, or?” They seemed so modern. It was a little startling, if he was honest.
The way his footsteps echoed down long, empty corridor made him uncomfortable, but there was nothing he could do to lighten his steps, as relatively weightless as they already were.
Eli seemed to know precisely where he was going, as he took them down a couple sets of stairs to where the deepest recesses or the archive lay.
“Not really. They’ve been around a while, but I wouldn’t say they’re hundreds of years old or anyhing like that.”
That was both a relief and a little disappointing. He wouldn’t have minded something with more history - like the estate for instance.
Eli waved his hand. "I think the Professor trusts you to give it back when you take it off," he said. There was certainly something about Ioann that made him want to trust him implicitly, even though he barely knew anything about the man. He snorted. Maybe it was because the man seemed so defenseless. If he tried, he was pretty sure he could take Ioann down. The man looked about as dangerous as a pet rabbit, all tremble and fluff.
He settled into the back of Forina's car, lounging comfortably. He had a car, he'd just ridden with Forina last night from the bar, so his car wasn't around. Besides, he normally walked. The bar was within walking distance of his job, and his job was within walking distance of his apartment. He used the car for errands and grocery shopping, and that was about it.
He mussed Eli's hair, amused. "Yeah, yeah, I get it," he said. Ioann wanted to find his own way, do his own thing. He understood. He felt that too, somehow. The urge to be independent was strong indeed. "Hey, trust me, I'm not gonna hand feed ya in the archives. I've got stuff to look up myself." He had his own research to work on, and unlike Mr. Family Quest over here, he needed to get published or he'd never graduate.
"We're here," Forina announced, putting the car in park.
The archives were a boring building, big, brick, and square. A few small windows stood high up on its walls, and the doors were metal and heavy. It looked more like a bunker than an archives, or maybe a prison.
"Home sweet home," Eli muttered as he climbed out. He stretched and took a deep breath, savoring the fresh, clean air. It'd be nothing but the musty, stuffy archives for a few hours now. As much as he loved the smell of old books, there was such a thing as too much of a good thing.
[center "Really?" Ioann's face lit up at the prospect. He would love to learn more about it. "Do you think Professor Imanov will be upset, though? I still haven't been able to get it off." He admitted, guiltily.
Here he was, a guest, and already had he been causing quite the mess. Well, hopefully once the ring came off, all would be forgiven. As he rose, he nodded politely to the sisters, Alexandru, and Luca - who actually followed them to the door to see them off.
"If you plan to return this evening, just give us a call." He offered, making it quite clear that they were all welcome.
"That's very kind of you." Forina smiled, appreciative of his consideration. Ana had been nodding in assent as well, grateful even if they didn't end up taking him up on the offer.
Ioann had already wandered out to join them, Eli in tow, thanking Forina for the ride. They might as well, right?
Wait, did Eli even drive? He wasn't sure what the norm was here. Maybe it wasn't all that necessary to have a car. Like when you lived in the city already. Just another nuisance on top of traffic and fuel to pay.
Ioann had never personally experienced as much. He tended to take the metro or walk where he needed to go. Or, depending on the occasion, he would be driven to his destination.
"I just want a more detailed history. Like I said, my parents really weren't keen on my knowing the details, and I figured coming here would help me to get some answers on my own... and have a little space."
He loved his parents, but they could be a bit much. "They weren't happy about my coming by myself, but I'm an adult, you know? I can do it on my own. Well, mostly. I appreciate any and all help." He amended, patting Eli's arm gently. "Just, not to the point of having it done for me, I guess." His tone had fallen soft now that they had situated themselves in the car.
Forina was back behind the wheel and had subsequently taken them back down to the main road, knowing the way to the archives well, all considered.
It was definitely interesting, though, to see Eli so eager to help. He was a piece of work sometimes, but he could be sweet. She'd definitely give him that.]
Eli let out a long sigh. What the hell. This was... this was nuts. Ioann was more naive than he'd thought it was humanly possible to be. But... whatever. At least he was trying, right? Trying to find stuff out. Not trying very hard, given that he was [i literally staying in his ancestral home and somehow had no idea,] but he'd been sheltered. So sheltered. There was no way he could've expected that he'd he housed here, of all places, right?
He followed Luca and Alexandru's lead in staying silent. He wasn't going to break it to Ioann. That was going to be insane when--if--it broke, and he didn't want to be the one to break it.
But it didn't feel right to give Ioann no chance to find out, either.
"I'm pretty familiar with the archives," Eli offered, raising a hand. "If you want, I can show you around."
Forina stood. "Ana and I will get out of your hair," she offered. I don't want to stick around too long."
"It's no bother," Luca assured her, but Forina was already heading out.
"Want a ride, boys?" she called back over her shoulder.
[center Luca gazed at Forina as she posed her question before his eyes trailed over to Eli. Ioann was truly the only one who didn’t get it, wasn’t he? Had he really been so much sheltered from the truth? Beyond knowing he was from this country, was he unable to identify the faces of those hanging in the upper hall?
After a bit of contemplation, Ioann shook his head. “Nothing.” H answered Eli and Forina simultaneously. Ana he pressed her lips into a thin line, clearly having also picked up on the elephant in the room.
“My parents were very uncomfortable with discussing it, so I wasn’t given much information. Honestly, we had a bit of a falling out before I left. But my father still gave me the album. My mother has asked about me and sent messages through him from what I’ve seen on my phone, but she’s apparently still too upset to speak with me. I just want to understand why.”
His face fell, fingers piddling nervously with one another in his lap. He could feel eyes on him and it suddenly felt very uncomfortable.
“Well,” began Luca. “So long as you are prepared to accept whatever you may find.”
“Yes, of course.”
This soft boy couldn’t possibly know what he was getting into, and in that moment Luca took care to silently sip at his cup of brew.
“You know,” Alexandru cut in, glancing nervously about the table. “You might find what you’re searching for at the archives. I’m not sure if any of your friends are familiar?” He didn’t want to assume anything.
Ah, that felt nice - and strange - for someone to reference his friends. Truthfully, he actually [i hadn’t] had any. Mostly, he suspected, because he wasn’t one for going out and partying... or really going out at all. He sent the best conversationalist, either, and socialising had a way of making him stumble over himself quite a lot.
He had never been mistreated, but it was certainly different to think there were others who noticed you and cared for your company. And they were all so nice at that! It was more than he probably deserved, but he was very grateful.]
Eli smirked as Ioann fled. Ana kindly turned her eyes away, while Forina seemed more preoccupied with her toast than the half-naked man. When he returned with the album, Eli leaned in too. Whoa. Those were some seriously old pictures. Like black and white, some sepia. Or were his parents just hipsters? Eli snorted. That was some dedication to the hipster lifestyle, taking all your pictures in black and white.
He turned back to his food and spooned down a few more bites of sugary cereal. "Your parents are hot. Like, seriously," he commented, turning the page. Ioann wasn't half bad, but... he looked the man up and down. Cute was the word for it, not hot. His parents, though, they were smoking. Ioann's mom sure did have it going on. He'd love to meet the rest of the family.
Actually, now that he was looking at them, they kind of reminded him of the pictures he'd spent so many hours poring over. Paintings and photos were two different mediums, but... he exchanged glances with the girls. Did that mean Ioann was a descendant of the estate's original owners? No wonder the place was bending over backwards to take care of him. Now it all slotted into place.
"So you know nothing of your family's past?" Eli asked carefully. He didn't know how to break it to the man that his family was [i probably] nobility, and nobility with a bloody past at that. Should he, even? Some secrets were meant to sleep. Maybe it would be better if Ioann returned home empty-handed. He seemed like the kind to break his own heart over things that had happened hundreds of years ago. No one really cared, anymore; at this point, it was just local flavor, or what passed for it. But he already had the feeling that Ioann would kick himself over it until he was sick.
"Nothing? At all?" Forina echoed, disbelievingly. How oblivious was Ioann? Hadn't he seen the portraits? Was he really a precious little fluffball who knew nothing of the real world? She found herself wondering if he was a virgin, too. He seemed the type, anyways. Naive, sheltered, hidden away from the world, whatever--he was just too pure for this world. And he'd never had friends before? Was so desperate for human affection that he'd take up Eli's offer for cuddles? She shook her head. It sounded like the kid had a hard past. Hard, and sheltered.
[center “I’m going to visit the professor. Part of my trip is about finding my roots, and he did offer to help me with that. I’m hoping to shed some light on where I came from.” And maybe he could clarify some other things, too.
“”I want to know why my parents fled. I want to know if I have grandparents or family here. I’m an only child, and I truthfully don’t see much of my family besides old photographs.”
Speaking of which, he had that album...
“On your way back in, you might want to... try some trousers.”
...no. Oh, but yes. Ioann glanced down and immediately hustled out of the room, returning with a nice pair of ACTUAL PANTS on, as well as the album he’d brought along with him.
Luca carefully took what was accepted, and something about his expression seemed... expectant. As though he really hadn’t been surprised, and perhaps had been waiting for some grand confirmation all along.
He knew these faces, and he remembered them fondly. Some... still managed to cross his path on occasion, but these were dangerous times to live in. Not quite so much as back then, but it was dangerous nevertheless.
Purebloods... they were always so stringent about how they kept family records. But here was Ioann, mortal. Cursed, he was sure, until the time come when his true self would emerge.
How that would come about was the true mystery however.
Ioann had already settled back down next to Eli, much happier to know that he had the promise of a cuddle at some point. Oddly, it didn’t take very much to make him happy.
Forina leant closer to have a look, not too much familiar wit the faces she saw there, but there were some she had definitely seen before in her father’s study... and the upstairs hall.
Which meant— she peered curiously over at Ioann and wondered vaguely if he had noticed the startling resemblances here at all. Even Ana had tossed her a curious look, flashing the album at Eli once Luca was finished with it.
"Wait... did you see him after the bar?" Forina clarified. That sounded... dangerous. Maybe it had been a dream. She wasn't one to dismiss others, but Ioann had been pretty drunk last night. He might've dreamed up anything. And she was pretty sure the man hadn't been in the car with them.
Eli snorted. "I was hungry. Breakfast was calling me," he said. "I can stay and cuddle next time, though. You a cuddler?"
"Don't give Eli ideas," Forina groaned. There wouldn't be another time, for Ioann's sake. He was such a cute kid. No way did he understand what Eli would do if he got his hands on him.
She picked up a piece of toast and nibbled on it. This place was hella fancy, though. She hadn't been expecting it from Ioann. He gave off the broke-college-kid vibe, not the loaded vibe. Eli had been noisy about it last night, but she had to admit, it took her by surprise. And the last time she'd checked, the estate wasn't just offering free rooms to random passerby or foreign exchange students. Admittedly, a lot could've changed since the last time she'd been here, but that was a [i lot] to change.
"Any plans for today?" Eli asked Ioann. "What brought you to this corner of this little country, anyways?" He'd been drawn over by the professor's research. Ioann seemed interested in it, but 'interested' didn't usually justify a multi-country trip so much as a quick online browse of the professor's publications. His eyes drifted to the ring still wrapped around Ioann's finger. And what the hell was with that? The professor raised bloody hell if he touched anything, and here Ioann could just wear it around, casual? Was it just him, or did it feel like the whole world was going out of its way to make sure Ioann got his way?
[center “He was tall, skin like moonlight, pale eyes...?” Ana sipper da bit more of her tea, munching on a slice of toast. Ioann had a hot plate of sides and a bowl of porridge laid before him, and as he began to eat, he did his best to process the conversation around him.
“You saw him?” Had she been in the room, and had he really not remembered? Or was that all a dream? It was difficult to tell now in the light of day. Despite the fact that he had been absolutely certain that he hadn’t ever met that man in his entire life, something about him had drawn him in. Like a strange compulsion that refused to relinquish him until he was safely no longer in his presence.
“What?” Forina’s brow furrowed. Sleepy boy wasn’t being clear enough.
“The man last night. Maybe... it was a dream.” Surely. No way he had been in the house.
Luca glanced between them, his eyes shifting to Alexandru. His gaze was pointed and meaningful, and something about it made Ioann a little suspicious.
“We will look further into this for you, but it’s certainly nothing to be too worried about. Rest assured that all will be handled accordingly. Probably some confused vagrant. Still, the authorities should be aware so that they can track him down.”
Ioann hummed, distracted. “Eli, you left me and I was cold.” He mumbled, cutting him a slightly disappointed look, brows pinched.
Luca scoffed. For someone who seemed rather harmless, his pout was cute. And dangerous. He’d have to take note of that. And based on the context, so would Eli.
Eli glanced up when Ioann wandered in late, though didn't say anything to irritate the man this time. Something about his expression warned him to keep his mouth shut. What, was the guy not a morning person? He understood. There were plenty of nights that left him not a morning person as well. And he hadn't gotten that drunk last night, but Ioann had been buzzed as fuck for his two beers. Two glasses of wine? He did look a bit like a wine man.
In the light of morning, Forina felt a little embarrassed about panicking over the man. He was just some guy. He was creepy for following them around, but what'd she really thought he was going to do to them in the middle of a public bar? She felt kind of dumb about it now.
"Thanks for letting us stay the night," she said to Luca, giving him a nod. She really did appreciate it. Even if she was overreacting, it had been kind of him to offer them security for the night.
Luca inclined his head just slightly. "It was my pleasure," he said. "We get guests so rarely. It was a rare treat to have some friends of Ioann's over."
Forina scratched her face. "I'm glad my worries turned out to be nothing," she said, glancing at Ana. "That pale man really creeped me out, though."
"What man? I never saw him," Eli confessed. The girls had just bolted without explanation. He'd had no idea which men they were so worried about or who they were running from. Some monster of a man, it had to be, to get the girls that worked up. A creepy pale bodybuilder, maybe?
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