Times always changed. I knew this to be true as much as I knew myself. My years on this earth were nothing and yet they were everything. Already I had traveled much, seeking a way to obtain vengeance upon this cursed plot of land that had lead to my birth, death and rebirth. One would have thought that after over one thousand years on this land I would have found a reason for all the suffering; but I had not. Erik, or rather Eric now, was one of the only highlight to the truly boring world that I had been thrust into by my maker.
Eric was by far the best thing that had ever happened to me. He is my father, my brother, my son and I am the same for him. We are forever intertwined as if the Fates themselves had twisted and braided our strands together. Separate we are each fierce warriors and rulers, together there is little that can stand in our way or hope to hurt us. Even as I grow weary of walking this earth alone I know that I must go own. Eric has not been a vampire quite as long as I have, I know this, and yet it makes me wish he could understand the sadness that is slowly eating at me.
Being what we are allows us certain freedoms. Freedoms that the humans do not yet have. Our ways of traveling have advanced in the millennium and a half that I have walked this earth. From walking on foot, to the invention of the boats, to whatever this was they were using. I think it was a more adaptive version of a Carriage. We had them, sure, but this is different.
Our destination for the time being had been one by accident. Eric had wanted to visit a country that was as opposite his homeland as he could. That wasn’t hard really, since not a lot of places in Western Europe were like Sweden. Still I chose a place for us, a place we could rest. Every new country came with customs and languages to learn. Being undead we could grasp the idea of the language much easier than even the humans. We had forever to learn it.
I had taught Eric that it was important to adapt to whatever place you were in. It wasn’t so that we could hide in the shadows, it was so that we could blend in and avoid any trouble with the Authority and those in charge. Being given the True Death was neither of our goals. So we adapted. This place though, it’s going to be a place that I miss when we leave. I do hope that I can convince Eric to stay here for many years. We aren’t needed in America, yet, even it is a fledgling compared to this place.
This country, it reminds me so much of my own. The sprawling greens and the folklore. Oh how the stories remind me so much of home. We all had our Gods and Goddesses but this is something more. If only they truly knew what the Fae were really like I doubt they would be so inclined to base most of their lore around it. Where are we? Oh I should have told you sooner. You want the year as well? Why does that matter? Time is a relative term to a vampire who has been walking the Earthly Realm since before you were born. If you insist I will provide, for a price.
We are in Éire, the land of Tír Na nÓg, of fables and fae. I believe some call it Ireland. It’s strange being here actually. We can almost feel the magic in the air. If I didn’t already know as much about the Fairy Realm as I do I would say that they were just playing games here. The air is almost charged with a current and for some reason, supernaturals are drawn here. I can tell you that I was, for sure.
Look there I go again talking in more modern nomenclature than I have ever done before. Maybe I am taking this whole adapting thing too far? Oh yes I still haven’t told you the year. I’m not completely sure. We believe it is sometime around 1003 AD, possibly later. We haven’t been all that good at keeping track.
It is dangerous for Eric to be here, especially with the events that happened a few decades ago. The Vikings had always been proud and strong explorers and they had made it here to this sacred land. The last King of Ireland’s own mother was killed by a Viking Invasion so there is no love lost between the two. Eric had only been a vampire for a mere sixty years when we settled here. He had yet to lose the accent, but he was trying. It was easy enough for the Irish to see the Viking in him and I found myself far more protective than I should be.
As any subject in a new land we had to make sure that we gave no reason for the human king to want us dead. You see it’s been one year since Brian Boru became the High King of Ireland. He is the ruler of all the rulers. The clans follow his lead. We must make sure that we do not cross his path. I fear for Eric if we do.
We’ve only been here a few months, our timing not the best. It was four years after the Vikings were defeated, a decisive battle that earned Boru the right of High King. We will survive and we will move on from here. I want to understand the culture, to see if any of it can be adapted into our way of life. The people here, they remind me so much of my own and of Eric’s. The Viking influence is easy to see but the Gaul not so much. These people, however, reminded me of the fierceness to which my own clan would fight against the invading Roman army.
I could be happy here, I knew, and I was for now. Right now, our biggest concern was finding a way to establish ourselves with land. I had earned a plot of land in one of my past enforcer jobs. The King giving it to me as payment. Some understood the value of land and money over anything else.
So we were here to claim my investment. To the world around us we were an odd pair. He was so much taller than I was and his Viking traits were hard to ignore. We were already polar opposites and when you put us together they couldn’t quite understand the relationship dynamic. To the casual observer it was easy to determine that we were liaisons, lovers possibly even, not that it was taboo. One would have to assume that we cared at all what others thought.
We had three tasks right now, that were the most pressing. The rest of our list could wait until the first three had been completed. First, we must actually vacate the dock and move out the way of the ships. I do not wish to get aboard another boat for a good long while. While I’m sure Eric did not mind the travel there have to be better ways. Our second task is to locate the land that is now mine and ensure that I do have full rights to it. There should already be a home located on the property but that leads us to task number three. We must ensure that our property is safe for us during our day rest. With as sunny and bright as this place is at times we must ensure that we do not die for lack of focus.
Turning a moment, I let myself glance one last time at the ship that carried us from the Cap of the North towards this new land. I don’t know if I had ever been this far west before, so it was new to me. The ship was sturdy, one that would have made the Vikings proud but it wasn’t a Viking ship, that much I could tell you. Not that I knew much about my own childe’s culture. He just complained the whole way that the ship he had built would have been faster. I just had to laugh. I hated being on it to begin with.
Now I was finding that I was grateful to be on solid land but if we had to leave ship was the only way. I don’t think we would have been able to swim, even with the sun up. I watched as Eric cast one fond farewell glance to the ship, knowing that he would follow me anywhere. It was easier for me to have shed my roots, even if the tattoos placed upon my body would never go away. For him, it wasn’t so easy. He hadn’t been a vampire very long and yet he was already making waves. Powerful, deadly. The child of Death. They were formidable already.
“Kom mitt barn. Vi måste hitta våra sätt att ledaren för den här staden.” (Come my child. We must find our way to the leader of this town.)
“Ja, Fader.” (Yes, father)
If we were going to blend in here we must learn the language of the locals. We could not walk around speaking Norse or Swedish for fear that we might incite violence against ourselves. I already knew a few words, but we would both learn it. If nothing else, it is one more language that we can communicate in for future needs. Languages change and evolve based upon the situations that arise, I knew this.
Slowly the two of us moved our way from the dock on which we had landed and towards the center of the village. The leader was always in the largest house, or hut, depending upon the times. He would be the one that would grant me the rights to the land I already owed. If he was human, he could be glamoured and no one would think anything about it. I could feel the stares from a few of the townsfolk who were out and about, mostly they were staring at Eric.
My child, for his credit, said nothing. No glare, no growl, nothing. He understood the precariousness of the situation that we found ourselves. Ireland was not friend to Viking but he would not hurt them if they left himself and me alone. I had no doubt that if they were to try to hurt either of us that he would have no qualms about murdering the entire town. I prayed it did not come to that.
Our walk was not far. The village was small but it was protected. Finding the leader was not difficult at all. He was waiting for us as we approached. What surprised me, was how much like Eric’s people he looked. I would have thought he would have followed more along the lines of the rest of the Irish we were seeing. This was a surprise, that much I was certain of.
“Välkommen resenärer. Din resa har varit lång och farlig. Vila, och vi kommer att tala om varför du är här.” (Welcome travelers. Your journey has been long and dangerous. Rest, and we will talk about why you are here.)
“Detta är acceptabelt. Eric kommer vi vila.” (This is acceptable. Eric, we will rest.)
Eric did not respond to me verbally. He simply nodded and I felt a little of his confusion in our bond. He didn’t understand what was happening. I did not either, honestly. For a group of people that had spent so long fighting against the Viking invaders, why were they allowing one to be the ruler of their village. I would understand soon enough.
Names had yet to be exchanged. This could be a good or a bad thing. It depended upon the man standing before us. He wasn’t human, I could sense that much. He also wasn’t a vampire. I had no idea what he was and seeing as I’d been on this Earth for a while now, that was something I did not like.
Now would not be the time to fight, to cause a problem. We must figure out who this person was and what they wanted with us, specifically, before we thought about attacking. Instead we followed the tall blonde into his home and found that we felt at home ourselves.
I noticed that the interior of the building was decorated in a mix of Viking and what I was coming to call Celtic inspirations. Perhaps there was more to this story than I thought. We were waved to sit down on a rather plush set of furs in the corner, and I watched the man as the stared at Eric. Something was going on, something out of the ordinary.
“Detta hem är lämnats mot utomstående höra oss. Vad vi diskuterar här, inte kommer att lämna detta hem. Såvida det är, du väljer att berätta för andra. Jag förstår din frustration, men frukta inte, broder, jag är inte här för att skada dig, eller ditt maker.” (This home is warded against outsiders hearing us. What we discuss here, will not leave this home. Unless that is, you choose to tell others. I understand your frustration, but fear not, brother, I am not here to hurt you, or your maker. )
I saw Eric’s head snap over to the man as my features hardened. He was calling Eric brother. From what I could understand Eric had been the only of the sons left. Was this man really his brother? He had thought his brother was dead. I wanted to question it but the thought of causing a scene was more than I wanted to bare. Dawn was approaching and we were going to have to find shelter.
Reaching out to Eric through our bond I sent him calm and understanding. I knew that he needed answers but he was young in the years of vampire and I would not let anything happen to him. I could feel him responding back, sending me love and appreciation for my guidance. I could also still feel him war within himself on if he should press the issue. All the while the man was watching us, both of us, as if he was trying to determine something.
“Dawn närmar och vi måste få till marken.” (Dawn approaches and we must get to ground.)
I watched the man tilt his head some in acknowledgment but he did not release us from where we were.
“Du kan vila här. Det är säkert från solen. Det är också säker från någon som jag inte vill ha anger. Vi kommer att tala mer ikväll. Det finns mycket du måste veta om ni båda är att överleva här.” (You may rest here. It is safe from the sun. It is also safe from anyone whom I do not wish to have enter. We will speak more tonight. There is much you must know if you both are to survive here.)
While I could feel Eric’s reluctance to agree we both needed to rest. I was older, true, and did not have to sleep as long but I would guard Eric for as long as I could. I watched the man as he stood and entered into another room motioning us to follow. There was a bed large enough for Eric and myself, and he would take the smaller one in the corner. The way it was set up was that Eric would be protected from both sides.
As we all settled for the morning, I could feel Eric slip off as the first rays of sunlight crested the horizon. I would hold out, for only a little while, to ensure that no one would hurt him. Soon enough, I too slipped into the death pull of a vampire slumber.
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