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The morning was chilly, the low temps had done very little to burn off the snow leaving the city to slog through brown and grey slush that refused to melt and dry up. Mounds of dirty snow stood in…Continue
A duffel bag sat perched at the foot of the massively oversized bed, flanked on all sides by an array of clothing and toiletries; all neatly folded and grouped across the bedspread. Emerging from the…Continue
Date of Birth: Spring, 100 A.D
Relationship Status: Single
Build: Lean Muscled
Eyes: Cobalt Blue || Hair: Dirty Blonde
Calm || Dignified || Disciplined
Gallant || Honest || Intuitive
Old-fashioned || Aloof
Predatory || Sly || Unrepentant
Assertive || Calculating
It was a cold night in early April, the darkness was all consuming yet somehow bright as snow fell in heavy sheets that obscured everything to within a few feet of sight. In the midst of the flurry sat a quaint little village, the small buildings standing firm amid the last wintry bluster of the year. Inside one of the houses, fire burned steadily in the hearth, thick blankets covered the windows and floors to keep the heat from escaping. Surrounded by dozens of furs a young mother struggled in the throes of childbirth, her groans and screams of pain drown out by the howling of the wind. The midwife made soothing sounds, a steady stream of words that were of little sense short of keeping the mother-to-be calm in the midst of the chaos. The howling winds sounded as if the very hounds of hell were baying at the door, an ill omen as the miracle before her proceeded. In the midst of mother nature's icy fury a little boy was born, his cry of victory the last thing that his mother ever heard. Staring at her squirming son she shed her mortal coil, leaving the suffering of living to her son.
The midwife struggled with the warring feelings of elation and sadness that wrestled within her heart. Lily had been her friend, a sister of sorts she had been blessed with and watching her die was the single hardest thing she had ever undergone. Looking down at the sleeping babe, so perfect and healthy despite the raging elements outside she felt it within her soul that Lily had given her life for her son. As her oldest friend the midwife swore to look after the child, to raise him as she knew Lily would have wanted. The blizzard lasted for days, the longest in living memory yet marking the birth of Lancel Taggart. Despite the harrowing conditions, the babe was strong and healthy, vibrantly clutching to life with a quiet sort of vengeance.
Lancel became the village sweetheart, his rich cobalt blue eyes shining out of a pure and expressive face charmed even the most stubborn and prudent individual. As a babe he was quiet, watching everything and advancing far more quickly than most. Inside of a year, he was walking, tottering around on chubby little legs while babbling in that cute and nonsensical way baby’s do. As a little boy, he was precocious, constantly asking questions with an uncanny ability to know just how far he could push. There was not a single person that he met he didn't like, somehow finding a bridge of commonality with even the most obstinate and cranky of the elders. He learned at an astonishing rate, soaking up information faster than a sponge and retaining just about all of it. The old saying it takes a village to raise a child was never truer than when applied to Lancel. The little boy was unable to stay still, constantly drifting around the village in search if someone to talk to or listen to.
As he grew older Lancel became even more interested in the world at large, a seemingly endless stream of questions falling from his lips or requests for stories and tales. While he listened he worked, never failing to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever was needed. The young male became a cornerstone to his people, much like his mother the entire population came to depend upon him. Many in the village would compliment him, imparting how much like his mother he looked or acted much to his great pleasure. In that vein Lancel endeavored to remain true to his mother, always keeping at the forefront of his mind what actions would make her most proud.
At 12 years old he was allowed to accompany the Elders around to other villages, trading goods and information as well as brokering possible marriages. It was during one of these visits that Lancel met Freyja and Ivar, twins around his age. Freyja he instantly liked, her light and charisma called to his own, their attitudes and personalities so alike it made friendship easy. Ivar was a puzzle that intrigued Lancel, his surly disposition was so unlike his sisters yet he loved her. That in itself endeared the other boy in his good graces, urging him to find a common thread that would give the isolated boy a friend. The two boys found that link in the form of competition, healthy contest in speed and agility that to anyone else looked like mindless roughhousing.
Since Lancel was the only child in his own village he often traveled to Freyja and Ivar’s or vice versa, the three of them nearly inseparable. The twins found the needed Lancel’s company as much as he did theirs, for he often stood in the middle of the two mitigating any sibling squabbles that would have cropped up otherwise. As the trio increased in age however the world, or more to the point, their view of the world broadened. Ivar and Freyja developed abilities, powers that were unlike anything anyone had ever seen and struck fear in the hearts of many. Though it sometimes frightened Lancel to see the things his friend could do, he was loyal within the deepest part of his heart and refused to abandon them. By the time they reached 18, it was obvious that not everyone could see things as Lancel did, forcing the twins to make an impossible decision. The suspicion and unease of the villagers became unbearable and unavoidable prompting the twins to leave.
Dismayed and heartbroken that his friends were leaving he was met with a choice of his own, the siblings approaching him with the prospect of joining them in their wanderings. Much as the thought of leaving the only home he had ever known frightened him, the prospect of seeing the world and all that it had to offer was sorely tempting. Torn between his loyalties to his people and the affection bond he had with brother and sister he confided in his aunt, the midwife who had helped bring him into the world. His Aunt knew that he would never be satisfied staying within the village, his intelligence and curiosity were far too acute for him to ever be content as a farmer or trader.
Thus Lancel bid farewell to his home, packing up all his worldly possessions to accompany his friends. The first few years were filled with excitement and discovery, their travels taking them far and wide. With Freyja’s optimism, Lancel’s charm, and Ivar’s resourcefulness the three of them did well for themselves, always finding a sheltered place to sleep for the night and food for their bellies. It was as they were reaching adulthood that the problems began, with an increase in age comes an increase in dreams and aspirations. Lancel began looking at both individuals in a different light, causing a rift in his heart and mind.
Freyja was beautiful, a light unto herself with an infinite well of optimism and idealism. Like a bright ray of sunshine, she could not be dissuaded from her path or belief that all people are inherently good. Her smiles made his stomach flip, contagious as they were, and Lancel found himself stumbling over words were before he had always been elegant and precise in his prose. One the other hand Ivar was an enigma wrapped in a morose and sometimes angry package. Beneath all the bluster and enmity rested a thoughtful and fierce soul. Ivar loved deeply, trusted rarely, and protected those he was close to with a ferocity that couldn’t be reigned in. The thoughts that his friend had were often profound, insightful, and yet an underlying fear drove him to make the mania driven decisions that put him at odds with his twin sister.
Lancel was caught in the middle, of the twins growing animosity and with the growing sensations of affection that had taken root in his heart. More often than not he was finding himself standing between the pair, attempting in vain to stem the arguments and disagreements that were festering between the siblings. Much to his detriment, it put him on the outs with both, their insistence that he pick a side met with firm resistance and resulted in the silent treatment all the way around. Try as he might his neutral standing put him in the middle of two titans, their powers coming full to bear one night as they bickered over which way to go and who might be more inclined to lend them aide.
In their fury neither of them seemed to hear him, his pleas for calm and understanding fall on deaf ears as the pair hurled spells at one another. The very air around them was lit with sparks of color and motes of power, like fireflies badgering them on. Watching the two go at it was a sight that struck terror in his soul, the thought of all the people in the villages that surrounded them being hit by some errant spell settled like a weight in his chest. Just as Freyja’s indignation and Ivar’s acrimony reached a fever pitch Lancel tried one last time to encourage the two of them to see reason, yet their animosity seemed to turn to abject hatred as the magic surrounding them swelled and in a moment of errant and animalistic madness the twins aimed great spells of destruction at the other and let loose their disquiet.
In a flash of light and a mere moment of pain, Lancel fell. Each spell hit the other and ricocheted, blasting clear several villages leaving a large crater of burnt foliage and bodies in its wake. When the dust settled the twins beheld their oldest and truest friend, his body lying where it had always been, right between them. In silence, they built many funeral pyres, the largest and tallest for dear Lancel who had died trying to bring their sibling squabbles to an end. Once the fires were set in the tinder Freyja drifted away, not a word spoken to her brother as she left the death and carnage behind her. A little while later Ivar too departed, his temper only growing more reckless as he headed in the opposite direction of his dear sister.
As the night reached its darkest a power that lay unseen within the Earth took hold of the male’s soul, ripping it free of his human body. Infusing his being with shadows the male was reborn, his protective intentions and pure heart gifting him with a second chance. Blinking around at the fire and smoke the male was astonished, confusion and disbelief flowing through his mind as he looked at the world in a new light. Placing a hand to his chest he could feel no heartbeat, his death had well and truly stolen the steady beat away yet he was standing and breathing. Thinking and moving as if he were still living. He took a single step, his breath catching as he found himself on the other side of the crater.
Superspeed, enhanced senses that were incredibly acute and other powers he had yet to discover were now all at his disposal. A brief moment of elation shot through his body, the thought that he could now stand on his own two feet when facing the Twins. With powers and abilities of their own, they would have to listen to him, be forced to see sense and get along. As his gaze dropped from his own hands, eyes the color of midnight surveyed the devastation for the first time. So much destruction and death, dealt by two individuals who hadn’t even cared enough to stand vigil through the whole of the night. So many lives that had been cut short but anger and hubris. The thoughts sobered him, made the male realize that people with powers and abilities had a responsibility to those who did not, and if they did not heed that responsibility than he would.
Standing in the crater the male swore to himself and to the night that he would do better, that he would be the protector that people needed. Keeping the secret of the supernatural would be imperative, as would ensuring the safety of those who had no way of defending against such unnatural and awesome powers. He no longer had any desire to return to the twins, and in the spirit of his new life, he would take on a new identity. Never again would he be caught in the middle, helpless to make a difference. Never again would he stand by and let such wanton destruction happen. Never again would he stand by and let the powerful prey upon the weak.
Standing among the ashes of the slain, Gideon Ashworth greeted the dawn with a new outlook on life and a purpose that burned bright within his dark soul. From there he traveled the world, protecting the secret and guarding the innocent. Throughout his life, Gideon found that he was unique, needing a little blood to survive and the cloak of night for his powers to work he was a power to be reckoned with. It was during a trip through Italy that he first found he was able to create more like him, coming across a lovely young healer who had contracted the plague yet was still trying to care for others. Upon her death he was overcome with an instinct that he couldn’t deny, giving her his blood and infusing her body with shadows he watched in fascination as her being was ripped from her mortal body and made new.
Cecilia was the second Valkyr to ever walk the Earth, though at first, she didn’t thank him. Going into isolation she took some time to come to terms with her new life and eventually opened up, allowing him to assist her in the transition. From there he gathered more followers, turning more Valkyr in an effort to amass more to his cause. Unfortunately, as the numbers grew personalities and agendas became apparent, a select group became too arrogant with their new powers and chafed under the restrictions Gideon set upon them. The group split off, following a leader of their own to disastrous results.
Valkyr were not incorruptible, those who did not follow the rules laid down by their Valkyrie became drunk on blood and eventually addicted. Gideon and several others took to hunting them down, the stories and accounts formed as a result became the foundation of the vampire legends. They became a cautionary tale for all Valkyr, to take in moderation and uphold the values set forth by their progenitor.
After many centuries Gideon came upon a city that causes him both surprise and disquiet. Evermore city was home to many species of supernatural, all living together beneath an unsteady flag of peace. His kind were clearly needed, in order to carry out his purpose and yet something about the city made him uneasy. A feeling of deja vu he must investigate, and an echo of destiny he can't resist.