The world was in chaos. One moment, humans were the only race that they knew about and a lot of people were comfortable with that, and then the next moment, as though all at once other beings began to exist. Or maybe it was more so that the strange beings and creatures had always existed, just out of the human spectrum of seeing or belief. The sudden appearance of these beings tore the human’s world apart. There was shock which turned to fear before it moved to a thousand years of war, during which many died and some of the smaller groups of strange beings were driven extinct. It was during the war that the humans started to call these mystical beings…well…Mythics.
At the end of the war that drove the Mythics back from much of the human world, there was a point of discussion. Integration had been attempted several times but it always ended very poorly for both sides involved. Thus came the time of the Treaty and the very strict rules that followed it.
The world has been split. Through Magic and the binding of words, one half belongs to the Mythics and their ilk, and the other to the human, to prosper and rebuild. The Treaty was not created lightly, it took decades to complete and finalize. Maps were drawn and Laws were made. Over the course of time, all knew to respect the laws. That was both the Mythic and the human.
The Mythics, being of many races, took longer to negotiate with among themselves that their representative did with the humans. Still, it was deemed a fair exchange of land and peace. Strong magic users went to work setting up the Barrier of Trees. Abnormally tall, large, and strange structures, they towered both over land and sea as Magic was the source of their seed more than soil or sunlight. A clear distinction of human and Mythic lands. Thus it was written, The penalty for crossing into either side illegally by either party was death by the first person to catch the intruder.
Those who crossed the barrier from the Mythic world to the human world were marked with a terrible symbol on their cheek. A curse that would slowly and painfully spread and kill any Mythic who may manage to escape the eyes of men. For those who crossed the barrier to the Mythic side from the human one, They were marked with a symbol on the back of their hand and the trees would alert to all nearby Mythics that humans had crossed the threshold.
Many criss-crossed the barriers for the fun of it or for the hunt. Illegally and with great risk.
Some took their chances on the opposite side than their own in order to escape their own people for different reasons.
One thing is certain. In a world such as this...the divide should always be respected.
A young couple, madly in love, went to the forest edge for a picnic, as the land, though spooky, is very lovely. They were young and with their youth came immaturity. Daring and playing and teasing, the two went into the woods, crossing the line from the land of the humans to the land of the Mythics. This was met with a tragedy. They were caught, in the forest, by a Mythical being and knew they would die by the creature's hand. Or so they thought. But the creature saw the love they had for each other and was moved by it, telling the two that they would be allowed to return to the human world at the sacrifice of their first born as soon as the child came of age.
The two, not wanting to die, agreed to the terms and were escorted out of the forest. They never forgot their debt to the Mythic. The wedding, the honeymoon, the work and the house and everything that came before all seemed so pointless the moment the couple found themselves pregnant.
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Garvis nearly wanted to chuckle, seeing the look on the boy’s face as he went through the clothes. He waited patiently though, until the boy was ready. He spoke as he stood outside the door, not wanting to disrupt the human as he prepared. [b “I think it would be better to get used to the clothing materials here for now. Your current clothing was in need of cleaning, that and we will need to make sure you have more clothes to wear for the future. You’ll be with us a while after all. Perhaps I can make something similar to your …preferred wear.”] He looked down at his hands, Garvis had always been good with his hands. The prospect of having someone join him in the kitchens though almost made the rat smile, though the way his master was addressed made him frown a bit.
[b “That’s Mr. Dartrum, or Master to you….nothing less formal, unless he tells you otherwise or you wish to earn his temper from the start…But yes. When you have finished your meeting with the Master, we can head to the kitchens for lunch, If you still have energy to eat.”] He muttered the last bit under his breath. It was not a secret, why the boy was here. It was not his place to tell the human, but the reason might run him off or worse. He waited, shifting nervously for the human to finish.
He looked the human over, smile returning, and he didn’t even hesitate to fix the boy’s clothes a little, before starting to lead him down the hallway. He noted the curiosity as the boy’s eyes watched this way and that as they walked. [b “The mansion is large, yes. And there are many rooms and secrets. It has been in the Dartrum Family since the first mythic war. They took it from a great Wizard named Elzorg who used arcane magic and forbidden bloodspells so a lot of areas are dangerous, especially for humans. It would be best for you not to be caught wandering the halls and rooms alone for now.”]
The rat tried to make sure his low dragging tail would stay out of the human’s way as he made their way down the halls, at times touching doorknobs. He took the human down the stairs and across to the right wing of the mansion before pausing at a closed door. He turned and opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again before speaking. [b “Young sir…remember to speak respectfully and try to understand your role here as it’s explained to you. Don’t meet his gaze. And don’t injure yourself, if you can help it.”] He stepped to the side and opened the door, bowing his head and motioning the boy inside.
Vondire was already waiting within. He had drawn the curtains and kept the room dark save for candlelight. It was a sitting room with a short table in the middle of two couches and a few chairs. A bookshelf lined the back wall and a writing desk was in the corner by the door. On the opposite wall was a grand piano, and the sound within was a ticking of an old clock upon the wall. The vampire had taken a seat on the couch across from the door. He was laying on his side, his arm propped on the arm of the couch, one leg taking up the seats as the other hung over the front. In honestly, the dark haired creature looked bored. Though not so much as the door opened. He beckoned the young man inside, motioning to the wide display of seats.
[b [#9b1217 “Welcome to my home, young man. Please, sit where you like. Forgive my relaxed state. I did not get sufficient rest and it has left me a bit more tired than anything else. Have you eaten? I told Garvis to make sure you’d found something appropriate to eat. Ah…but where are my manners…”]] The vampire groaned a little as he sat up, his movements swift and smooth, like silk. Like doing them was not supposed to be detected by human eyes. He flashed a glace of yellow eyes in Garvis’ direction, giving his hand a wave to see the servant depart and close the door.
[b [#9b1217 “My name is Vondire Ghalahad Kobiashi-shusta Von Dartrum. You, young human, may call me Master Vondire, or Master, as you like. And what did they title you, I wonder? The child they knew they were never to keep.”]] His yellow eyes turned on the boy now, a smile stretching his lips that poked the tips of his fangs from hiding. He could feel the heart of the human from here, and with a little focus, could see the blue veins running through his body like a fountain of nourishment, untapped and young. He tossed the idea from his own mind, for now.
Dax watched the rat man move to the wardrobe as he continued eating the meal prepared for him. His eyes following the picks that the man pulled from the hangers. His faced turned slightly looking at the style of the clothes being laid out for him. He hadn't really seen clothes like that before and wasn't sure if it were really his own style. "I can't just wear this?" the male frowned, finishing up his meal before placing the tray down and standing up. He walked over, looking at the clothes a little closer and exhaled softly. It was just for now he supposed. He shrugged it off and listened to the man speak about his master. Dax didn't like the thought of addressing someone as master but he figured if it kept him alive long enough, he'd have to play along. He looked back as Garvis moved towards the door and spoke again. Dax was intrigued by the way Garvis was so worried about his food consumption. He figured the Mystics hadn't had to deal with a human hanging around so it was just fascinating how hard this man was willing to try for one. "Yeah, you nailed it with this spread. We can talk about other awesome food later." Dax replied, feeling a little anxious about the whole Vondire Dartrum thing at the moment. "Maybe after I'm done with....Uhh.. Dartrum, we can talk about it." Dax assured Garvis, grabbing the clothes from the bed and turned around to look at the man. "I guess I'll get ready then.." he muttered.
Dax took his time cleaning himself off and getting himself ready and presentable. Garvis would want him to be damn near perfect he assumed as Garvis held this Dartrum at such high regard. He finished washing himself up and pushed himself out of the tub, which had an old style feel to it. Nothing like the human world, but he figured it was pretty cool either way. Drying himself off, he got dressed in the clothes the rat picked out for him and looked himself over in the mirror, grunting softly at the look of him. These clothes wouldn't work for everyday looks but for now he'd keep himself quiet. Sighing softly, he ran his fingers through his still damp hair and moved towards the door when he was ready.
Dax walked from his room, finding the rat man and began walking in the direction pointed out for him. The place was huge and he found his eyes moving across every picture and every door, wondering what was found on the other side. He was curious by nature and that often got him in trouble. He figured it wouldn't help him in this case either but he wanted to know what was behind every door and every corner. He assumed there was some dark and mysterious secrets that lerked every corridor in this place. Crossing his arms over his chest, he continued moving, not wanting to stop and lose himself in the massive home. He could feel his heart pounding with every step he took, knowing he became closer and closer to the being that now owned him. He wondered how their first interaction would go and wondered if this mysterious man didn't like him at first glance, would he kill him right away? As these thoughts swept his mind, he could barely focus on anything else anymore. He was lost in his head and knew he wouldn't come out until he spotted the man.
The boy’s face, with it’s smile, was almost as gratifying as the appreciation he gave for the meal. The rat of a man nearly turned sheepish at the unexpected gratitude the young man displayed and even more so, seeing him start to eat the selection. Sliced boiled egg, a quarter slice of cheddar, grapes, blackberries, and a slice of toast. The glass was filled with water, though, as he wasn’t sure if the young mister liked coffee or not. [b “You’re very welcome, Young Sir.”] He stood in the doorway a moment, making sure the young man liked the food before bowing as he entered and moved to the wardrobe off to the side, hearing the question he asked.
Garvis opened the wardrobe and started to look through the clothing inside. Most of it was older, and in the style of their own people, but his mind started to turn as he pulled various pieces from it to lay them on the end of the bed. His gaze sharpened a little as he tried to find an answer for the question. [b “The Master is a mysterious man. He may come across a bit cold and unfeeling, as well as a little demanding, but he has a kindness in him too.”] He paused his search to turn and start to sort the clothing to shirts, pants, and jackets.
[b “His name, and you will only hear me say it once, is Master Dartrum. Master Vondire Dartrum. You will address him as Master for now, same as I do, until you have found your purpose here and what he asks of you to title him. There are others who use such…informal terms for him.”] The thought clearly gave the man a shiver of disgust, as he held some level of high respect for The Master that the others tended to let fall by the wayside. [b “You will meet with him once he and you have finished breakfast and have prepared. If you would be so kind, as we do not usually house beings like yourself, I would like to make sure you have the necessities needed…such as proper clothing. I’ve laid some things out for you to try…for size comparison, if you will. I can tailor some pieces if you like them.”] Garvis spread hairy and long clawed fingers rather carefully across the fabric. A man who cared much about his work indeed.
[b “Once you’ve completed your meal, you’ll want to bathe, I am guessing. And then see if anything here fits your size and form. Once you’re ready, I will take you to see him. But I want to make sure you are ready.”] He looked around the room a moment before walking to the door. [b “I will wait out here, unless you need my assistance.”] He paused a moment, before turning with a more gentle smile on his whiskered face. [b “Young Mister…if you have anything in mind for sustenance, I would love to converse sometime about what humans like to eat. As you’ll be with us a long while, I think it would be good to make sure you have things you like to consume.”] He ran a hand through his white hair, what little there was of it, and hesitated outside the door, not wanting to close it till he was sure the young Mister was finished with him.
Vondire paced the halls of the mansion, dabbing at the corner of his mouth where sat the little remains of his breakfast meal. It had been another visit from a Harpy, though not Morana this time. Was he nervous? The great and ancient vampire that had survived the Mythic skirmishes over the years, nervous by the thought of meeting one human boy? Why? Was this being not below him? Were not all of them at this point? If not for his power and his age, then for the simple fact that he owned several powerful people.
Despite still probable hours before the human’s arrival, the vampire has made his way to the sitting room early, not able to sit down properly as he tried to mull over how to be with the human. Should he demand what was owed him? Flat out take it by force? Or try a more delicate and gentle approach? It had been so long since he’d interacted with those beings.
The night seemed to last forever for Dax. His mind had raced over and over. He was still convinced it was a dream. He knew humans didn't last in the mystic world. He knew any human that crossed the boarder was dead in the first moment. Humans have tried for years to cross it since the war ended and it hadn't turned out good for them. He would surely be dead sooner or later. He walked to the window, pushing the doors open and looked around for any attempt to escape. No such luck. What if he did, though? Would he make it that far anyway? He couldn't get out of the room firstly. There was nothing he could climb out onto and the window was far too high to jump down. Closing the windows again, he sauntered back to his rather large bed. Laying back onto it, he exhaled deeply and dramatically. He knew he would spend the rest of his life here in this dreary, dark and horrifying place. He didn't even know what was lerking outside of this place. The rat man said he'd be protected here... but whatever it was that was going to protect him would no doubt be the death of him too.
He decided to let himself sleep for now. It had been an exhausting night and he had a lot to take in the next day. Pushing his jacket off, he climbed into the cold bed, pulling the thick covers over his body up to his chin and laid in bed until he finally fell asleep. His dreams were dark and nightmarish. He continued dreaming about whatever was out in the woods and whatever was inside the mansion. He had so many questions and so much to deal with. It was the worst sleep he had ever endured so far. Dreams of death and torture.
The morning came too quickly and the male slowly started waking up, still convinced that it was all a dream. He opened his eyes at the knock on the door and felt his heart drop at the sound of the rat man. This wasn't a dream. This was still real and he still had to deal with all of this. His eyes were blurry yet and the boy pushed his body to sit up in the bed, trying his best to look around and allow his eyes to adjust. It still seemed so dark and dreary out which didn't sooth him any more. He had at least hoped it would be a sunny day. Letting out a soft sigh, the boy pushed himself fully off the bed, bringing his hands up above his head to stretch his body out. He felt like he had been hit by a truck but he assumed that was just because of his odd sleeping positions through the night. No doubt he was moving a lot with all the nightmares that ran through his head.
He made his way to the door slowly, grabbing hold of the knob and turned it slowly, pulling it open to reveal the short man behind it. Yawning and rubbing at his eyes, he focused on the meal the rat man had prepared for him. It all looked pretty normal and he felt his stomach rumble at the sight and smell of it. He didn't think they would have normal things in this world but he felt like it must have been safe to eat. He was starting to get really hungry and whatever that rat man prepared for him would have to do. Placing a soft smile on his lips he watched Garvis' face and shrugged. "It looks good." he admitted, leaning down to grab the tray from the small man. "Thanks." he chuckled, leaving the door open and moved over to his bed, sitting down and placing the tray beside him to start eating. "What's going on today?" he questioned. He hoped he could meet whatever had made him come here and was keeping him there.
Dax slowly ate the food, finding it was far better than what he was expecting. He figured it was because he was growing hungry but he was actually enjoying it. He ate slowly, like he was savoring it in case it was his last meal. He had no idea what was about to happen today and was worried that something bad might happen. "Do I get to meet this....dude you're always talking about?" he asked, keeping his eyes placed on Garvis. "Cause the anticipation is killing me." he spoke sarcastically. He was actually nervous and a little bit scared to meet this being that the rat always talked about but he didn't what to show off how nervous he was, though he assumed Garvis could tell. He figured these Mystics had a keen sense of emotion.
Garvis had to admit, the human boy was strange. He didn’t quite understand how those who brought a being into the world would be so cold to their offspring as this boy claimed his own were. Even for a rat-being, that would have been abnormal. The vermin may live shortened lives for being the weakest of the Mythic world, but they still had affections for their own in their own way. It almost sounded like this child had not had any strong bond in his upbringing. Perhaps, he thought, it would be for the best. Still, he’d said nothing once they entered the mansion. It was to be certain the Master was already aware and listening as usual.
Once the boy had denied the request for food, he bowed slightly, watching the door close quickly. He stood there a moment, frozen, before clearing his throat. [b “Do not mind the eyes that wander. They will not harm anyone under The Master’s protection. I will fetch you when I am sent to. Get some rest.”] With that, the man turned and scurried away down the hall.
He turned back several times, checking to make sure the door had indeed closed and stayed shut. The last thing he needed was the human to be sneaking around. Feeling the eyes of one of the portraits on him, he turned and stared at it till it turned away. [b “I know. I know. I’m headed there now.”] He muttered, scurrying off towards the library. Entering it, slowly, Garvis kept his head down. Kaiser was already there, leaning against a bookshelf as Morana was perched on a stool not too far away, keeping an eye on the door. Perched was the right word, standing atop it and crouched, ready to take off. And there, in the center of the room, stood the Master himself. A book in one hand, and a watch in the other.
[b [#9b1217 “Ah, and the rat returns at last. I sense the human is settled in his room, yes? No need to answer, I already know of such. Well done, Garvis. You probably should rest for the night. I doubt the human will be any less a handful tomorrow. You must see to feeding him in the morning, and then be sure he makes it to the sitting room on the first floor. I will make an official greeting there and explain his role to him.”]] A flourish in the movement of his wrist gave long fingers a chance to wave the man out as well as slide the gold watch back into his pocket. He doubted the human would be ready to shift schedules just yet. Luckily, the forest was always dark enough to allow for the Mythics to travel days or nights as they saw fit.
Garvis bowed several times at the compliment, muttering gratitude before hurriedly departing from the library for his chambers. Kaiser let out a growl, turning a scarred face to the vampire. [b “Why do you insist on keeping that rodent around, Vondire? He stinks and there’s nothing he does that myself and the pack cannot do.”] He spoke plainly and though he was met with a sharpened and dark gaze, there was no sudden movement to the older male, who closed the book next and put it on the desk. [b [#9b1217 “When you come to my age, you learn that every being can have it’s uses. I doubt the boy would trust so easily in someone as intimidating as you, Kaiser, despite your …charming personality.”]] Vondire gave a toothy grin, hearing the harpy chuckle at the insult.
She slid off the stool and made her way to the vampire, wrapping her arms over his shoulders and catching his sharp gaze with her own. [b “Pet dogs should know better than to question their Masters. Besides, the rat is not the one who stinks the most now, what with the human at play. He will attract a lot of attention, V. Are you ready for that? For the challenge of trying to keep such a being here? He doesn’t eat like us, nor does he smell right. Every Mythic for miles could taste his fear just from crossing the border.”] She whispered the words, swaying from side to side as she faced the vampire, but seeing his cold reaction to her efforts. Vondire didn’t meet her gaze, nor did he return the affectionate touch she attempted to give.
For a moment, it seemed the vampire was lost in thought, before placing his hands on the harpy’s waste and swaying with her, stepping forward with her stepping back until she hit the bookshelf behind her. He looked her over a moment. The harpies knew how to tease, for sure, and his fangs had found her neck more than once before. Kaiser scoffed and turned his head, pushing off the bookshelf to head towards the door. [b “If you’re done with me, I will depart from you and your pet canary. I have preparations to see to, as this presence will bring unneeded attention.”] He didn’t wait to be excused, though Vondire would have waved him off anyway, being rather hungry and not wanting to bother the human blood that he could smell just yet.
A taste would satisfy, like a child waiting for a special meal by feasting on crackers. [b [#9b1217 “Let them come. It has been many ages since I have tasted the blood of a human and nothing, I repeat, nothing, is going to stop me from taking my time and enjoying this gift.”]] Vondire took hold of the hair and feathers at the back of the harpy’s head, forcing it to the side before sinking his fangs into her flesh. Mythic blood was always bitter and unpleasant. Something to live off of, but nothing in substance really. The harpy took a sharp breath and moaned quietly, which always annoyed the vampire. Despite his need for her blood, she was not to his liking as a partner. He’d not had one of those in centuries and did not look for a man to replace him. The blood was to sate, though. Just to stave off his impatience…for now.
The morning didn’t look much different from night on this side of the boundry. Dulled and gray at the lightest of times, and dark as pitch at the latest. Garvis was careful not to drop the tray he carried as he made his way up the stairs. It took him all night to try to research the eating habits of humans, and after a lot of debate, he thought he’d found a meal they could both like. It seemed humans and his own kin were not too distant in their taste for things like cheese and boiled eggs, cooked pork and fresh fruit. Though one would argue that the rat would eat anything he could, it was not the same as a nice selection of seeds and cheeses for sure. Setting the tray down a moment, the man knocked loudly on the human’s door.
[b “Young Mister? Are you awake yet? It is time to get up…I have brought you a meal.”] He hesitated, looking over everything. Garvis may have been a rodent of a man, but he tried his best to serve his Master with what pride he could muster, and that included this meal for the human. He was nervous, though…what if he had it all wrong?
Dax watched the small rat man as he walked. Listening to him talk about the story of what happened to his parents intrigued him. His eyes looked ahead of them again to take in the scenery that surrounded them. He was never told of what actually happened back then. His parents never said a word about what they went through. He crossed his arms over his chest, exhaling sharply as he listened to the man speak behind him. "They never said anything about that." he spoke, looking back at the smaller man who was guiding him to his apparent new home. "They never wanted to talk about what happened. I figure it was because they didn't want to get attached to me if they knew I would be coming here anyway." he shrugged. "I guess that's probably why they didn't raise me." he rolled his eyes. He knew it would suck to have to give up a kid, but they didn't have to treat him so harshly and at times like he didn't exist. Maybe they were upset now? He would never know.
Once they came up to the Mansion, Dax looked over the entirety of it and gasped out softly. "Wow..." he muttered, biting at his bottom lip. It was like in a horror movie or an old monster flick. "This isn't real.." he grumbled, putting both his hands over his face as if to wake himself up. He slapped himself a couple times and laughed nervously. "I fell asleep by the tree.." he chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck vigorously. He knew he was kidding himself. This was all too real and this was happening whether he liked it or not. He knew he had no way out and even if he did try and run, he'd probably be hunted down and maybe even killed.
Moving into the yard of it, he looked up towards the creepy fountain and watched it. "Is that thing looking at us..?" he mumbled, moving from side to side. He looked back as the gate closed and crossed his arms over his body again. That was the end of any glimpse of freedom, though it was slim to begin with. He looked back at the rat man as he began to speak and ran after him to follow behind now. At the things he said, the boy's heart dropped. What was he getting himself into now..? How was this whole thing going to play out. Was he now some sort of prisoner? A loud gulp could he heard from him but he tried to keep the enormous feeling of fear from slipping out too much. He didn't want to upset whatever it was that was here, but he knew himself too much and he would not go down without some sort of fight. He'd try and follow the rat man's directions, however, finding his best chance at living at this point was to do whatever the man told him. He figured he knew best.
As the man pushed the doors open, Dax looked around quickly, stepping into the mansion and letting his jaw drop slightly. He hadn't ever seen anything like this before. It was bigger than he could ever expect. It was almost like the outside was smaller than the actual inside. His eyes darted around curiously. He wondered what was behind every door and even though he was still pretty afraid of what was going on here, he was much more curious of the place. Following the rat man up the stairs, Dax's eyes never landed on the man ahead of him. He was too busy staring at everything around him. "This place is huge!" the male exclaimed, staring at everything his eyes landed on. The pictures were just as creepy as the statue outside. "Everything is following me.. right? I'm not crazy.." he muttered, staring closely at the paintings and pictures.
They stopped at the door that was supposedly his bedroom. He looked at the door then down to the jingling of keys as he was handed one. He looked the key over and looked back down at Garvis. "Uh..." he mumbled softly, looking between him and the rest of the hallway. "No, I don't think I'll be hungry for a bit." he muttered, looking back at the door and stuck the key into it, pushing the door open. "I'm just going to... regain my thoughts." he muttered. "This is kind of a lot to take in." he spoke, moving backwards into the room and stuffed the key into his pocket. "I'll let you know later if I get hungry." he muttered, shutting the door behind him and turned around, leaning against the door and let a huff of air leave his body. He looked around the room, taking in his surroundings. It was an elegant room for sure and completely different from the room he had in the human world. He moved to the bed and flopped down onto it, putting his hands on his face. This was his life... and now he'd have to try and adjust to it without being killed. This was going to take some time.
Garvis was almost certain the young man was going to try to run. Why Master thought he was the perfect one for this still eluded him, but he was pleasantly surprised when the young man seemed to take the idea of following him much better than he had guessed. [b “Not quite in this particular place, no, but close by here. I will show you the safe way through to your new home.”] He was surprised again, that the child wanted nothing to do with his life-bringers. The couple didn’t seem to be bothered by the lack of farewell either, which puzzled him more, as he had always been told that human parental bonds were hard to break and were stronger than he would ever understand. He guessed that not all humans worked the same way.
The small rat-man waited until the older humans were no longer in sight, afraid of being followed. He was sure the two would be guided out by Kaiser’s pack from there, and watched the human male before him more closely now. The spirit the boy had, seemed to waver a little, revealing something that Garvis was more familiar with. Fear. The child had begun to reek of it and it almost made the little man grin. The question though, made him raise a bushy eyebrow. [b “Are…you saying that no one has told you? I don’t know all of the details, He doesn’t share much really. You’re here because The Master wants you here. Come now, this way..”]
He started to lead the boy, always checking back over his shoulder and making sure to stay close to him. He lead the way as he heard the question of what happened so long ago. [b “You would think that if a man were destined for something greater than himself, those who knew would tell him the story of why. I begin to think you were never told anything at all? A shame, really. The legend goes that two humans wandered across the boarders of the forest, though whether by accident or not is up for debate. It is said that Master Dartrum, my Master and yours now too, saved the young couple from the attack of a Devilback. It’s a creature that roams these parts every few years and causes all sorts of trouble. Our Master was gracious to the humans, instead of killing them as he ought, he made a deal with them. Their lives for the sake of their first born at two decades old. That would be you, you see.”]
He jumped a bit now and then, at every sound and motion among the trees. Garvis was a nervous rat, and trying to take a human through the forest was a whole new level of danger. He reeked of the human world and their emotions. A stench that Garvis realized would rouse every bloodsucking, flesheating, soul stealing, dream eating thing that crawled and dug and flew anywhere near the facility. [b “Don’t ask me why the Master saw fit to ask for you, he doesn’t expose secrets like that so easily and I’m sure you will know your purpose once we get home. Be careful not to touch anything. Some of those plants can’t be trusted. Things that seem safe and things that are safe are two very different things here.”]
He watched the man’s curiosity over his surroundings and yet all Garvis wanted to do was keep moving and get home as quickly as possible. It was not a long walk, but it was a walk. One that ended with the sight of the Mansion itself. It was a large, sprawling place. The entrance was huge and there were two wings, one to either side of it that were just as tall and quite large. A giant black gate opened, seemingly on it’s own, as Garvis approached, muttering to himself that it was taking too long and they needed to keep moving. There was a large fountain out front, depicting a marble woman, pouring endless water from a pot. Though he did not look at her, He was sure the young man would notice the way her head followed them as they passed by. Watching like some guardian of the yard as the gate shut, creakily. He paused before the door, looking the human over a moment as though to see to his appearance.
[b “Listen to me, young Mister. You would do well to heed my words. Do not speak unless he speaks to you. Do not meet his gaze, try to avoid your eyes from that, and …don’t fight him. You will lose and it will not be painlessly so.”] He shifted a bit before putting one grimey, yellow-nailed hand on the door. It opened like the gate, on it’s own and beckoned them inside.
The Mansion was huge, and the welcome room was shadowed by candlelight. Marble and stone mostly decorated the place. A grand staircase framed the entranceway, underneath being a set of double doors. To the right and left there were more closed doors and up the stairs, another double door set. The mansion was three stories high all around, and ran deep. Some say Vondire had complete control over the walls and doors, able to shift and change them at will, which was ridiculous of course. The rat of a man hustled to one of the stair cases, starting to go up them. [b “Come on then, I will show you to your room and you will remain there until He summons you.”] He spoke, knowing those curious eyes would want to open all of the doors and stare at all of the paintings that some would swear blinked and moved slightly all the time.
The human’s room was on the second floor on the right hand side. It was fairly close to the Master’s bedroom, and across from Garvis’ own room. He pulled a large ring of keys from his belt and went through them, finding a large golden one and removing it from the ring to hand it to the human. [b “Your key, young Mister, and do not lose it. It is hard to replace. This would be your room…mine is behind us, should you need anything. For now, get some rest if you wish. Are you hungry?”] the rat of a man ran the back of a hand over his whiskers and stepped back to allow the human some space.
Dax listened to the rat man speak, a glare forming quite obviously on his face. "Place of residence?" the boy spoke, crossing his arms over his chest unhappily. "You mean I'm living in this place now?!" he spoke. He wasn't sure if actually staying alive in this place was better than just dying. Hearing the wolves howling around him and all the unfamiliar sounds, Dax shrunk a little bit, pulling his sweater up a little tighter around his body. He looked towards his parents and glared again. A pact made 20 years ago to live his life in the Mystic word? When Garvis spoke again, assuring them they would have no time to say goodbye, Dax exhaled sharply and dramatically. "I don't care about goodbyes.." he grumbled, moving more towards the rat man. He was forced to live here now...and if he wasn't so pissed off he might have had a little more fear come out. The man and woman before him ruined his life. He'd never see his friends again and he'd never be able to leave this place.
Upon anger, confusion, fear and sadness swept across him. He hadn't ever felt so many emotions in one moment. His life was over and now he'd have to live the rest of it miserable and in a new world? He watched as the other two slowly walked off. That was it, he was now an orphan in this strange and frightening place. His anger washed off him as his face changed to fear. "Why am I here?" he questioned, looking back towards the little rat man before him, still cautious about the sounds forming around him that seemed to creep in closer. He finally took it in. It was far different than the human side, though very interesting. He had always wondered what it looked like but never actually wanted to be in it. Humans very very rarely got to leave and for some reason he was brought here by a pact? Then the question hit him. If this rat man didn't want him, who was it that did? He tried to remember the name Garvis spoke of and why wasn't that person here? He then wondered what the man was like and what kind of creature he could have been.
There were many questions rushing through him at this point and so many things he assumed the man in front of him would tell him about. He lived here now so he supposed he had the right to know. Taking another glace around, Dax's curious nature caught the best of him. All his peers always wondered what this place would be like and none of them could have pictured it such as this. The blonde moved through the trees, spotting some very interesting plants and what he could only assume was the Mystics animals. "What happened 20 years ago for me to be forced here?" he asked again, looking back towards the short man, waiting to hear what interesting story was going to come of this.
Garvis, by all means, would probably have looked more like a rat, then a man. His large ears twitched and whiskers flicked the air as he listened to their chatter before even seeing the humans at all. He stood at the base of the tree, nervously shifting and watching the woods that he knew contained dangerous beings. He could hear them all, after all, and smell a few..like the werewolves that served his master and kept watch even now on the boarder. A Howl signaled the humans passing over the protective line and was taken up by other wolves further away.
Shouting…voices…humans had entered and it made Garvis twitch and shiver over. He hated humans and wasn’t sure why Vondire would want to deal with them at all. Then again, years had passed since the vow had been made with his master. Perhaps the ancient man had been young and naïve at the time. The conversation that the ratty fellow overheard made him want to melt away into the forest floor. The boy would be a handful, it sounded like. Why hadn’t his Master come for himself? This wasn’t going to be easy at all.
The humans reeked of human-world and fear. The rat’s human-like nose twitched at the stench, but he hid this well, taking in the view of the three. One older male. One older female…and the young man that he had been sent to collect. A firey child indeed. Inhaling sharply, Garvis stepped forward, cautiously. He could also feel the wolves around them, closing in, in case they decided to run. [b “Ah…good evening, humans. I am Garvis…representative of Master Dartrum, and I have been sent to collect the Young Mister and escort him safely to his new place of residence. As agreed, fulfilling the pact of promise to my Master will free you of the marks you bear and allow you to live freely, without threat, once leaving this forest.”] His voice matched the weaker sounding squeak that one would expect from him. Though he doubted the lad would take it, he extended a yellow-clawed hand.
Around the meeting, sitting patiently and still as stones, Kaiser waited and watched. The wolves would follow his lead. They had their orders this day too, much like the shifty little rat man. Protect the humans entering and leaving save the young one. The young one was to be brought to the palace if Garvis failed to bring him in. the rat was good for many things, but why Vondire trusted this piece of hybrid trash to do the deed before him was beyond comprehension. The pack was much better at this kind of thing and would have been a better choice.
Kaiser’s ears shifted as a howl far off in the distance carried word of a change in the forest. Those in the air had been sighted, probably sent by Vondire to keep watch on the entire display. The Harpies, though pretty in sight, were abhorrent in person and not so far off from their Witchy sisterhood origins. Damn winged-women, no doubt Morana was spying on them all. Bring them to ground level and they proved no more a fight, for sure. It was a sign, though, that Vondire expected trouble, or was just being extremely cautious. By land and air, this meeting would only end one way. The boy would end up at the palace.
Tensions rose as Garvis heard the howl far off in the distance. He shook off the chill it gave and glanced around once with those beady eyes. [b “There is not much time, I’m afraid. Though you may say farewells, if you even wish to…from the sound of things, this would not be that lovely a sweet sorrow of a parting…but humans are strange, I believe.”] He wanted to be on their way…there was so much that could happen if they stayed out here in the woods for too long.
Daxson looked at the barrier of trees as he relaxed against one a little ways away. He wondered what it had been like during the war between the mystics and the humans. He never met one, for good reason, and wondered what the other side was like. His parents barely spoke about it and every time he would as a question, they would panic and brush it off. He wondered why they were so quick to shut him down when he questioned it. When they were in school, they were told about the barrier and the mystics on the other side. He was always so curious about it but the humans were warned not to cross the barrier or they would never come back. His friends would always talk about what they think it was like on the other side and make up stories about it. It was fun talking about what they thought it was like. He wondered if any humans had ever come back from the other side, never realizing that his own parents had crossed the barrier and was set free with an unimaginable price for it.
Growing up, Daxson's parents seemed cold to him. They never paid much attention to him as a child and a young adolescent. He was troubled because of it and found himself getting into a decent amount of trouble with school and other things. He somehow managed to keep from going to jail, yet his parents never did anything to stop him or warn him of the life he'd have to live if he continued with this path. He wanted their attention and the only way he knew how was to act out. This made him angry as the young male felt unloved and unhappy with his home situation. As he got older, he stopped caring for their approval or attention. He did his own thing and started finding himself through other activities to keep himself busy.
He stopped getting into trouble once he stopped looking for attention and even got himself a job so he could stay away from home. He became aware of himself and his situation. He was saving his money for the day he could move out and he figured he would start looking right after his 20th birthday. He had thought about it many times and figured his parents would barely think anything of him being gone since they barely spoke to him anyway.
Dax stood up, checking the time and pushing himself off the tree. It was nearly midnight. It was getting colder now and he would need to head home to get a bit of sleep in before he set out on some birthday adventures with his friends. He made his way home slowly and once there, saw that the lights to his home were on still. His parents were still up. "Weird..." the boy muttered before moving to the door and pushing it open. He took a look inside to see his parents standing on the other side of the door, staring at him.
[+green "Do you know what time it is?"] his father spoke, staring down at the younger looking version of himself. [+green "It's nearly midnight."] the male spoke, arms crossed.
"Yeah, I know. I'm a little late." the boy muttered, confused as to why they suddenly cared so much about how late he was out for. They never cared before. His mother stared blankly at him, like she was deep in thought but would not tell him why. "What's going on..?" the boy asked curiously, staring between the two before his father stepped up to him and grabbed his arm.
Daxson tried pulling away but his father's grip only tightened. The boy started to panic a little bit. "What are you doing? Let go!" he grumbled, trying to pry the older mans fingers from his arm before the male grabbed the back of Dax's sweater, pushing him out of the door. The barrier was close by and they were all moving quickly towards it. "What is going on?!" the male growled, trying to free himself from his parents. His mother following slowly behind him. Dax tried his best to get away from the man but it was no use.
The three of them stepped up to the barrier, Dax's eyes growing wider the closer they got. "We can't go through there!!" the boy yelled, knowing what would happen if they did. "Why are you doing this?" he asked, looking between his parents. There was nothing he could do. He yelled for help but nothing happened. The three of them crossed the threshold, moving through the trees and into the mystic realm. Breathing deeply, Dax looked around, still panicking but also amazed at the sight of the other world. His father let go of him and shoved him further in.
[+green "Dax..."] he began. [+green "Your mother and I came here when we were younger... we made a mistake."] he stated, looking around and began moving through the trees to the spot he knew they would need to be. [+green "We got out alive because we made a deal with a creature that if we brought our first born, we would live."] he muttered. Dax looked at him, not taking another step. [+green "We have to give you to him.."]
Dax looked between the two, confused, frightened and now a little pissed off. "You're killing me so you two can live?!" the male snarled, grabbing his head in confusion. "This is why you two kept your distance from me my whole damn life? So you didn't get attached to me?!"
His parents stopped speaking after that as they approached the tree with the fang in it and a small ratty looking man standing by the tree. Dax kept quiet now. What was this thing? Who was he? Was he the one his parents essentially sold him to? He kept his distance since he wasn't sure what would happen now. "I hope it was fucking worth it" the blonde boy growled at his parents, knowing his life would be in danger from this point in. He was going to die here, or die trying to get back.
The world was quiet then. The wars had all but settled, save for the internal irritations between Mythics in their own realm. The stronger ones thrived as the weaker ones were wiped out for the sake of more land. As old wounds began to heal and the trees that guarded the half-point of the world grew into giant barrier walls, those who would never die watched the changes. Some grew bitter and wished more for revenge than anything else while others grew mellow with age and experience. As the humans rebuilt and tried to forget about their inhuman counterparts, the Mythics grew restless amongst themselves and many still plotted all hatred in the direction of the humans for this level of isolation.
It was nearing midnight and the forest trees had intensified the darkness over the grounds. Vondire kept a hand on his sword as he watched, still as a stone, for the being he was hunting. As this was part of his territory and his land, he often kept watch over this particular section of the boarder and knew that in the past few weeks a large Devilback had been trying to find a time to cross to the human world from here. The creature was huge and red skinned, hunched on all fours like a wolf, but with the face of a boar and fangs and tail like a dragon. It had been stalking this side of the woods for some time, waiting.
In the dark of the night, Vondire listened for the creature’s growling hisses and heavy steps, yet in his concentration for it, he heard something else…voices. Curiosity peeked as his eyes searched far into the darkness to touch on that of a little bobbing light. A lantern? No creature out this hour needed use of light to see. Such a thing would draw all manner of being towards the holder like a moth to a flame. With a sudden and inhuman speed, he took off in the tree-tops. Moving easily from branch to branch before halting silently above the sight that made his eyes grow wide. Humans? Here? What were they doing here?
The two were very much here and oblivious to the danger around them. They seemed to be unaware of where they were and entangled themselves with one another by arm and hand, finally sharing kisses as they strolled. A curious sight..and it made Vondire ache slightly. A sudden roar and a charging stomp made the silent watcher turn quickly, seeing the Devilback crashing through the trees at full force towards the couple and scaring them into huddling together, realizing all too late where they were. Fear…it was a tasty morsel, really. Humans in general were often delicious, and the old one had not tasted of them in ages. He waited. Poised like a snake about to strike. And when the Devilback was just about to run the two into the ground, he leapt from the branches and brought the sword easily and swiftly through the head of the beast and drove it into the ground, sitting atop the thing as it’s body wriggled, unknowing that the brain had died.
The screaming couple had silenced and held to each other still as the vampire waited for the creature to stop moving entire, then moved from atop it, glaring eyes now intent on the pair as he removed his sword from the beast’s head. No blood stained the blade, the metal having fed on it instead. Vondire paused to regard the two, giving no words as he motioned them to follow him. They did, shaking and unsure, but the vampire had plans. He had saved them, yes, but not because he was good at heart. He lead them to the forest’s edge, before moving behind them and leaning in close between them to whisper his deal in their ears. The words never forgotten to this day [b [#9b1217 “Return to this very spot with your first child at the age of two decades old and you may be allowed to leave this place under my protection. If you do not return, the curse will follow you to an early grave. You and all of your kin.”]]
Twenty years ago. Twenty years and he had never forgotten, though time may have made him grow colder. Time and lack of decent nourishment, really as one can only feed off Harpies and Naga and the like for so long before feeling as though they have become empty. He had become more accustomed to the world of the split since then, no longer patrolling the boarders as he had people under him to do that now. Werewolves without an Alpha pledged to him, and two or three Harpies kept watch over the sky for favors of a different nature. As it was, when it came close to time to retrieve his long awaited gift, the man did not leave his mansion, instead, he called into the darkness and a small rat of a man emerged.
[b [#9b1217 “Garvis…it is time. Go to the boarder where the Devilback bones lay and wait there for the arrival of my long awaited guest….and Garvis…Do not taste him, or I will skin more than your tail from you.”]] Vondire watched the man squirm and bow low, starting to back away. [b “Yes, master…right away, master…”] And he was gone.
Garvis knew to do what he was told and slunk his way through the forest unseen by any save the werewolves that patrolled the grounds. They all knew the man and to stay away from him while on official business. The forest itself could be accused of being alive. The trees shifted and moved of their own accord and those not familiar with the feeling of the energy there could get easily lost, which was the point. The nervous little man stopped his trek by a cluster of boarder trees, one of which had a fang nailed to the front…the Devilback’s fang. A reminder for the humans, he was sure. Quietly, as he was told, he waited…it was only a matter of time.
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