She was a Pagan woman, raised in the roaming caravans that traveled and performed for their keep. Her skills were singing and fortune telling, but nothing riled her curiosity more than the stories of creatures that weren't human. She wanted to travel away from the caravan to find if the stories and legends were true. As a girl she dreamed of leaving in search of such creatures and stories. But there were not many gifted Pagans anymore and her gifts were true.
Finally she reached the age of twenty, and decided that she was grown enough and she would follow her heart's call and chase the stories of the world. She would sing and give fortune readings for money as she went from town to town in search of the creatures and stories. What she didn't expect was to find one of the stories, was actually true.
There were rumors and stories that a Lord of the Land was an Eternal One, a blood drinker. No one would see him in the daytime, and when he would hold Gala's and parties for the town, he was told to be unearthly beautiful, with eyes bright as moonlight, and skin as smooth as velvet.
There had been times when people, men and women alike, but never children, would wander into the manor of the Count, the Lord of the Land, and would never return. Never seen again. Always off in the night. The people couldn't prove anything, and he was the reason the town was profitable, so they dared not charge him with such devilry.
When the Pagan woman came to the town, chasing the legendary story, she was warned by the townspeople and still she wandered in. What will happen when she is caught by the Lord of the Land?
[font "Times New Roman" Nuana watched as the land passed by from the back of a hay cart. Her bare feet were up on the cart, and she loosely hugged her knees as she watched the scenery change. Over the weeks she'd watched the mountains become forests, and the forests were slowly becoming the next town of her adventurous journey.
She'd learned of many creatures in the world. Fairies, sprites, pixies, ghosts, and some others that were not so nice, but she'd also come across the one fact that tied them all together.....
She had not seen any creatures.....yet...
She refused to give up on her quest, destined to learn of any and all creatures she could before she left this world. When she'd heard the rumors of this next town, she was giddy and excited, but getting to the town had proven difficult. No one would give her proper direction, or take her there. Too many feared the town. She had only happened upon this ride because the man who owned the cart lived in the town, and he did business with other towns from his farm. He had thought the young woman insane, but decided that she would find her way to the town anyway, and agreed to give her a ride.
She hadn't realized how long the ride would take. She felt stiff and sore, needing to stretch out, but if she did so too much, she'd knock things off the cart. Finally as the sun began to set beyond the forest's ridge, they came upon the town. It was large, with wonderous buildings, and beautiful homes, as well as a busy marketplace. The moment the town came into view, her cheery excitement came back to life in renewed vigor.
The man took her to the town square and dropped her off. She took up her small pack and checked her coin purse. Thankfully she had enough for dinner and a room. The problem was where to find one. She tried to ask a few people, but in this side of town, apparently the people were too posh to address her.
This town had nobles, people who owned the farmlands, or the fishing port on the other side of town. But it seemed that anyone beneath them wasn't worth their time. Nuana stepped into a Dress shop to try and ask for help, and immediately had been shooed away, claiming there was nothing she could afford inside. She scoffed at the door when it closed on her. [#0000FF [b "I hope your attitude improves!"]] She cried out at the door with a growling sigh before shaking her head and turning back to the busy city. [#0000FF [b "Is it so hard to answer a woman trying to find an inn?!"]] she growled out, earning odd looks from other people on the street.
One man, dressed to impress and show off his money came up beside her then. [b "Poor thing.... are they being rude to you? Not many of the upperclassmen here are open to strangers.... You are looking for an Inn? Business or pleasure?"] he asked with a purr as he dark eyes roamed over her. She was not so naïve as to think the man only wished to help her, not with that look. [#0000FF [b "I am only passing through.... I am looking for an Inn to get a meal and a room during my stay here."]]
The man seemed to purr at the thought. [b "Are you staying long?"] he asked stepping too close for her comfort. She tried not to roll her eyes. [#0000FF [b "No, not long..... as I said, just passing through. I just do not know the town very well...."]] She could have kicked herself for that last bit. He smiled a grin that could put a wolf to shame. The man tried to wrap an arm around her and lead her off, but she held her bag closely and muttered a curse at the lecherous man and darted off through the crowd, not stopping until she was sure the man was too far from her.
It was then she found an Inn. The price for a meal was fine, but it left her with nothing for the room. She asked if there was any work that could be done to earn the room and the Innkeeper mentioned cleaning, dishes, and possibly entertainment. When she started to curse at him - with very unlady-like words - he held up his hands to show he'd not meant it that way. He had referred to singing for their guests. So as the night came over the town, she would sing songs she had learned from her home, as well as songs and shanties from across her journey the last several years. This Inn held those of wealth and not together, and she sang uplifting melodies of sprites and fairies. She sang of dragons and heroes. But what enchanted the night the most, was a song she sang of the Moon Called lovers.
A story of a forlorn man in love with the Lady of the Moon, every night bringing her gifts until one night she finally took the man, giving him her love, and making him one like her so they could live forever in love. This song always held a haunting melody that Nuana thought brought the night to life in its own magical way. And it seemed to be true the way the people fell hushed to listen to her melody. Women tearing up at the emotions she gave, the men's eyes gleaming with a deep loving affection at the thought of such a beautiful woman to love. It was a song that stirred the night and had even drawn a crowd from the street outside, causing a large gathering in the Inn's main tavern until there was barely room left to stand.
[font "Times" [size17 Somewhere in the tavern, a head turned, noting the feeling of heat suddenly was the crush of bodies at the inn. The songs sounded unfamiliar for the current time, the superstitions of the locals had moved to more flora and fauna related concerns as of late. But songs of the moon were something that echoed to a place far off, a time when eyes were aloft still.
Something new in an old village was always something exciting. The town's people loved the bards, the players, the mummers that came through now and again, seasonally or during their wanderings afar.
Antoni was the one of the house that wandered further into the towns than his counterpart. And it was on this night that he had sat, smoking with the hunters and listening idly while they talked. But the scent of sweat and humans brought his attention back, gold eyes surveying the crowd behind his dark lenses.
"[+purple I think a storyteller would be a good addition to the ball, wouldn't you?]" he asked that counterpart later in the evening. Smoke curled from his lips. Something herbal. Cloves.
The other man's eyes moved toward him from where he had been staring out the window, fingers templed before himself idly at the desk. He was quiet for a time, eyes distant. Antoni waited, listening.
"[+purple I liked the song she chose,]" he added.
Nick seemed to blink back into focus. "[+gold Invite her.]" He turned in the chair toward him, eyes moving to Antoni. "[+gold Perhaps that would give a bit more to the harvest festivities.]" He extended his fingers, glancing over the backs of them, the pale veins just underneath the skin. "[+gold I should be interested to know if she would be amenable.]"
A grin spread across the raven haired man's face.
And so, that next morning, there was a letter left with the innkeeper with the wax seal of the Havensgul house on it. She was cordially invited that evening when it suited her for a meeting with the master of the house, Nicholae Liviu Narcis to discuss a potential business matter.
[font "Times New Roman" Nuana had filled the tavern with her song, and once it lifted away, she glanced out over the crowd. Men and women alike in various ranges of emotion from the song before the tavern erupted in applause and cheers, and even tossing coins to the satchel she had left open for tips. When she finished for the night, she bought another meal, paid for the room and for hot water for a bath. She was shown to the largest room they had and she thanked them as they came and poured her water into the basin. She soaked until the water was cold, then dressed for bed and let the night take her in the warmth of the blankets and pillows.
She allowed herself to sleep in late the next morning, so when she came down to the tavern for a light lunch, Nuana was given a parchment letter. She broke the seal and read the invitation with a look of surprise and questioned the owners about who this Nicholae Liviu Narcis was. They claimed him to be the Master of the Manor and Lord over these lands. They spoke with pride and respect, but she could also see the deep rooted fear. They would not answer if she should answer the invite or not. They seemed to be worried for her, but dare not speak out against the Lord of the Lands. This piqued her curiosity.
She had quickly ran back up to her room and spent the afternoon trying to decide what of her few belongings would be appropriate to wear to meet with this Master Nicholae. She settled on a simple gown of Gold, an Emerald colored sash around her hips and adorned in coin, though it only made sounds when she wanted it to. She usually traveled barefoot, but for this visit she decided to wear her sandals so as not to be rude. She braided her long dark curls into a large and thick braid down her back and then adorned her head in a couple of gold chains. Hoops in her ears, and bangles along her wrists she checked her reflection in the mirror. Her sunkissed skin worked with the gold dress well and made her eyes gleam like amber honey.
She hadn't wanted to seem over eager, and so she at least waited until the sun began to set before she had started her walk to the Manor of Master Nicholae. As she had thought, the manor was off from the city, and the road to it had been longer than she had prepared for. She had taken her satchel with her, the invitation within it so she didn't have any issues getting in. The closer she got, the larger the Manor seemed, and she was suddenly taken by nerves as she looked at the large double doors. The sun was setting as she raised a shaking hand and forced herself to calm down before she lifted the knocker and gave four solid knocks on the large door to announce her arrival.]
[font "Times" [size17 There was a pause, the silence broken by the cooling evening's crickets and birds while she stood. The knocker was a large, pendulous ring suspended in the mouth of a beast.
Presently, the door opened and a pale face looked out to her. A woman, small in stature, but tall, waiflike. She gazed out at Nuana for a moment, taking her in. Between the two of them, the traveler was the one full of color. The woman in the doorway had dark hair, pulled back but allowed to curl about her face, curls gathering at her high cheekbones, and frothing off of the updo she had. Black dress, with a wide, sloping neck that stopped just before dipping off of her shoulder, with a white buttoned blouse collar beneath. She seemed surprised to see someone, or in particular this someone. She inhaled sharply, seeming to take pause at a scent, and then blinked out of it.
"[+crimson Why, whatever are you doing out here, child?]" she asked, voice speaking of years her face did not. Pale, pristine, but voice dry, husky, honeyed and low. She inclined her head toward Nuana, eyes moving beyond her to see no carriage, no cart, no... horse or ox or... mode of transport.
Her brow furrowed a bit. "[+crimson Oh- did- you [i walk] here?]"
[font "Times New Roman" Nuana managed to knock on the large doors with the knocker ring in the beast's mouth. She waited several heartbeats as she listened to the wildlife that lived in the area scattering about. She wondered if she had been mistaken of when she was to arrive and she pulled out the letter frowning. It said at her convenience, so there was a high chance that no one expected her so soon. Would they think that rude of her? She was biting her lower lip as she argued mentally with herself when the door opened to show a pale woman looking to her in confusion.
Nuana tried to straighten her posture then wished she'd taken the time to at least dust off her sandals before coming. The woman asked what she was doing here, and Nuana blinked at the sudden blankness of her mind before she mentally shook herself and lifted the letter in her hand. Before she could mention it, the woman seemed almost appalled as she looked behind Nuana to see something then asked if she had walked here. She turned and looked to the town down the way. It was a good walk just to the edge of the town, let alone the inn, but Nuana was used to walking everywhere on her journeys.
Turning back to look to the woman once more she gave a slight nod before finding her voice. [b "I...yes? I came from the Inn in the town? I received this invitation to come here, by a...."] She leaned in to read the name, hoping she pronounced it properly. [b "...Nicholae Liviu Narcis?"] She then handed the woman the letter to prove that she wasn't lying of the invitation. It even had a seal on the expensive parchment. [b "If I have come at a bad time, I could always come another time....it.... did not specify when I was to arrive, and I did not want to be rude and come too late....."] She explained, hoping the woman wouldn't send her away, or try to cause a ruckus and call her a liar, even with the letter in hand.
[font "Times" [size17 Town wasn't even visible from here, unless you could see lights in the very distance from over a few hills. The woman's eyes seem to have followed Nuana as she returned to her, meeting the aurelian woman's gaze again before falling to the item she held in hand.
The woman leaned forward to read over it as Nuana did, noticing the familiar signature at the bottom, and her brows arched. She nodded, humming in affirmation of the stranger's pronunciation of the lord's name.
"[+crimson No, not at all,]" she said, shaking her head, curls bouncing as she moved. "[+crimson Simply earlier than expected.]"
With that she stepped back, opening the door more for her and gesturing Nuana inside. She was ushered softly with a hand on her back, the woman glancing around outside before closing the door.
Inside the manor it was darker than the exterior. The curtains had only been half drawn away, it seemed, in half of the long, picture windows in the entrance hall. It was a large foyer with sets of doors leading off of both sides on the ground floor, presumably to parlors. There was a large, empty looking hallway in front of them, that was sheltered by the two arched curves of the stairs that led to the upper hall. Huge candelabras, taller than men, held aloft by sculptured, ghostly women in frozen, flowing veils were dripping softly with wax. The doors sent their flames flickering.
The woman who greeted her gestured for her to follow her, bringing her to the set of doors on the right. The formal receiving rooms. The part of the house that was reserved for the public, for interlopers like her. Opening the door, Nuana was greeted with the slanting light of a great fire crackling in the hearth. The walls were lined with shelves of books and curios. Curious things preserved in glass bell covers, and trinkets she both had and hadn't seen before. Mythic and strange. The floor was dotted with spreading, colorful carpets, and the furniture all plush and richly red upholstery. Among the things there was a large, piano forte. Books were stacked, mid-read with their velvety ribbon marks laying out of the sides of the book like tongues. Blankets were abundantly available.
"[+crimson Here we are,]" the woman said, smiling softly as she gestured to the room. "[+crimson Make yourself comfortable, I will tell him you've arrived.]"
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