Prolog: The Desire to Speak

Why now? It falls as much a mystery to my mind as it would to anyone else's. I can't say I have ever before felt the desire to speak about my past...because in truth I hate it. Reminiscing has been the greatest enemy of myself, and almost every other Strigoi that I have ever come into contact with. My past is not a pleasant one, and my heart and mind have grown dark and many would say erratic because of it.

Plague, or as he is better known Daerune, one told me that Kine and Kindred alike have said since his age that to conquer one's fear, they must face it. I never much cared to listen to Plague, but after a numerous years of his bleeding-heart prattle I guess one thing or another was bound to sink in. It would appear this is the one thing that managed it. Don't ask me why writing it, or even doing so in English struck me as a good idea. My native tongue of Romanian would have been a far more likely choice, but no one understands it anymore and the Romanians all know who I am, who I was. A place who's lands knew a 'demon' like myself, could never forget. Now the rest of the world will not either.

I know there's a good chance that whoever you are, you won't understand a lot of the words I use. They're old, and a number of them regional even in Romania, if not only used by the Kindred. There's also a very good chance that some might not know even as far as what a Strigoi is. This realization came to me soon after I left Romania. It would appear that tto those without a great deal of interest in Kindred kind, Strigoi do not exist. Vampires are not simply one race, I am here to allow you knowledge of this right now.

Strigoi are the original race of vampires. We are the fathers from which all other races of Kindred, or as you might know them vampires, are birthed. Rather like the blue-print to the greatest of all the hell spawn races. We are forgotten..mainly because the greatest and the oldest of us are superstitions and cowardly. When you are from the time before the 'savior' visited Earth, this can be an issue. Some of us who were younger created though, me for example, are known as "new world" Strigoi. New world Strigoi classically fall after the time of Vlad Dracul, which I do not, who was the worlds window to what vampirism truly was and who paved the way for further evolution among Kindred. We also, unlike any other evolution of Kindred, evolved into two branches within our own species. The first level being vii's, they are characterized by being bestial, ugly and usually quite stupid if not insane to the point of being stupid. When it happens that a vii is not incredibly stupid, they are usually given the option of becoming Mort. A more powerful breed of Strigoi. Now, I'm vii, but it's not because I'm stupid. I'm perfectly powerful and can take down most Morts when it pleases me, however the fact of the manner stands that in order to be a Mort you must eat an unbaptized baby alive including the bones, no problem there, and then be sealed in a rather large stone coffin and buried, which is way too much like the punishment of being boxed if you ask me. Thus here is where we hit the problem, but I can discuss that later on.

There are three divisions of Strigoi based on embrace, half embraced, Judas embraced and vampire embraced. The half embrace was the worst way for a Strigoi to be made. It was the blood letting of a Strigoi into a mortal but not without draining them first or even giving them enough to kill them off. They were cursed to rot to death and rotting is a mortal pain that no soul was ever meant to feel. It is now against Strigoi law to half embrace, it has been for as long as I have known of Strigoi politics. It still happens now and again, however, I know it does. Judas embrace is, as you will come to learn in more detail, the way I was made. It is a form of embrace that only the Strigoi, as far as my knowledge spans, may do. The process of re-animating a person who has committed suicide and making them Strigoi. This most often results in the Strigoi killing their Sire/Dam or at least going stark raving mad. It's going to be up to you by the end to decide which one I did. The vampire embrace is the standard embrace. The emptying of a mortals blood and then introducing your own, which will cause them to live as their body dies. For reasons of superstition and patriotism only Romanians, Romanians of certain creeds, or in religious situations as related to olden times (my time) have ever been made Strigoi..

There are but three more divisions of Strigoi, which are only used by them and are thus not terribly known. The titles of Mire, Maer, and Mour, which I use often out of what Plague calls my 'alarmingly strong sense of Strigoi egotism'. Mire is a Strigoi who was made from the blood of a kine. Maer is a female who was made from the blood of a magi-kine and Mour is the same as Maer expect they are males.

Now to explain Kine and Magi-kine and be done with the horrible inner politics of the Strigoi. As the swifter of you may guess by the way they differ a Kine is a mortal who does not use magic and a magi-kine, damn magi-kine, is simply a mortal who does. Simple, no? Well when you start getting into unblooded magi-kine like Vaolketh it becomes more tricky. It sounds like he was born without blood, when in reality he was born without Kine blood but simply is called Kine because he cannot use magic. You see? Kine don't use it. We'd prefer to just call him a Kine and be done with it, but magi-kine are so that they need to label everything in such ways.

Now that specifics are out of the way you should hear my story. It occurs in the 12th century I believe. My memory has hazed over the years, so I cannot recall exactly when in the 12 century...I'm only estimating the 12th century to be honest. I've read about the 12th century and it seems about right. It occurs in Romania, as one could likely have guessed if they weren't as unobservant as a blind beggar with a scarf over his eyes stuffed in a sack. I was born, as I recall, around the Caspian Mountains. Likely not far from Transylvania. That is not where most of our story will take place, but before I start I feel it's important to know...I also feel I should clarify for those who were not paying attention.

No Strigoi was ever born from a peaceful soul who existed in a happy world with a good life. My tale is as long as it is sad. My words will be as numerous as my memories are dark. I do not recall a time in my life, other than one brief breaking of clouds, where my life did not have a horrible cyclops' gaze cast over it that spilled my world deep into darkness. Neither success, nor wealth, nor power ever lifted it from me. Only love could ever do that, and love was taken from me.