He had finally found them…. Or at least they had allowed themselves to be found.
Standing at the bottom of the hill, Vincent stared at the Romani caravan’s sitting on the hillside. The Ravno’s where an interesting bunch of kindred, living outside normal kindred society the answered to no-one but their own twisted sense of honour.
The Ravnos where by nature gypsy’s and travellers thief and scoundrel’s their only loyalty was to their own considering all other creatures fair game.
Most kindred princes permitted the ravno’s free travel though their domain, preventing it was usually more trouble than it was worth and the creatures rarely stayed in one place long enough to present a significant problem.
A coterie often housed many generations of Ravno’s sires and grandsires often living within the band that made them making them formidable opponents should they be crossed.
For a moment he regretted his decision not to bring Allard, but even he realised Allard would offer little support should the clan get feisty.
Putting one foot in front of another he couldn’t help wonder if with every step he took towards the caravan’s he wasn’t bringing Anya closer to widowhood.
Reaching the first of the parked wagon’s he scanned the clearing seeing no sign off man or beast.
“Hello” he called…. “Hello”
With no reply forthcoming he felt the air grow cold around him. They were here of that he had no doubt, he could feel their eye’s upon him.
Heading into the clearing the camp fire before him suddenly burst into life flickering brightly he instinctively re-coiled from it as the Kindreds natural aversion to fire inspired fear.
“I Vincent… childe of Siren Clan Toreador” he called. “I which to speak with your grandfather”
The world began to spin, somewhat like a drunk man after to a few too many ales the gaily coloured caravan’s bleeding into each other in a nauseating splash of colour.
Stumbling he tried to focus on the image of a single upturned pot in the mishmash of spinning colours. Falling to his knee’s he momentarily found himself resisting the urge to vomit.
As suddenly as it started the scene began to settle and his overloaded senses became aware he was no-longer alone. Peering nervously upward his eye’s came to meet the gnashing jaw’s of a angry barking mongrel held on a chain by a young dark haired man.
It was clear by simple sight the dog was ghouled and judging by the way the chain’s creaked under the strain of it’s pull that both it and it’s master should not be fooled with.
“Ravno’s?” he asked.
“Yes Toreador” the youngman replied.
“I wish to speak with your grandfather” he asked not bothering to stand.
“I am he” the young man grinned. Vincent didn’t believe it for a minute, the Ravno’s where not foolish enough to send out their most powerful kindred to meet an apparent stranger.
“Then I wish to talk” Vincent offered.
“But who are you?”
“Vincent, Child of Siren….. You have heard of her?” he said, finding it hard to believe that any Kindred travelling though her domain would not.
“Are you the prince?” he asked, not seeming to acknowledge the reference to Siren.
“No… “ Vincent answered, before pausing for a moment realising that he supposed in Siren’s absence that perhaps he could be considered so. “I mean yes”
“Which is it… yes or no?”
“Yes… yes.. I am the Prince of this domain”
“And Prince Vincent… how are you allied?”
“Allied?” he asked not quite understanding the question.
“He has a Demon tick-taking around his head” A Woman added as she appeared apparently from no-where.
“Yes… I do” he hurriedly admitted, seeing the young man suddenly tense and a snarl forming on his lips. “but it is not… what you think” Damn you… damn you Vincent he cursed, it was such a bad idea to come here with the demon still inside him. None liked demon’s less than the Ravno’s but he’d had little choice tomorrow they could have been gone and it could have taken him months to track them again.
Suddenly the hair’s on the back of his neck bristled a noise behind him alerted him to a third presence; instinctively he turned and saw the shifting outline of a hidden kindred. Too subtitle for a less powerful creature to see but just noticeable enough that he could tell whatever it was it was trying to creep up on him.
For a moment he briefly considered allowing to draw close, trusting them to do whatever they intended to do hoping their intention’s honourable. However for as quickly as he considered it he dismissed it. Weakness was not a trait one showed in front of the Ravno’s their honour only extended as far as their own and to them he was nothing more than an opportunity for strengthening their own power unless he gave them cause to pause.
Lightening quick his had came out grabbing hold of the figure and hauling it to him, smashing it against the floor at his feet where a young woman suddenly became visible teeth bared and hissing.
“Friend of yours?” he glowered.
“One of many” the young man admitted, “Let her go she is my daughter”
Vincent nodded, the girl had a resemblance to the man and it wasn’t unusual for the Ravno’s to keep vampiric blood within mortal family lines. “Your grandfather will speak to me?” he demanded.
Suddenly pain shot down his side as something sharp suddenly penetrated his back, His head lolling as he witness the wooden point of a stake burst though the front of his chest, as he felt teeth sink into his neck.