He was too in awe of the number of kindred he saw gathered in one place to answer even if the stake had indeed allowed an answer to be possible at all.
He had attended Vampiric court a few times before, at Siren’s side but even in some of the biggest cities of the world he had never seen so many kindred in one place.
Grimstead, the fief he had taken control of after Siren’s passing, held ten kindred that followed his command. Two of those were Allard and Arabelle, three where staked in his basement and Siren of course still slumbered.
Leaving in reality only four currently ‘living’ within Grimsteads boundaries, in truth it was barely even enough to be concidered a fief at all.
This of course did not include those who seemingly flew beneath Risa’s banners or those like Isabelle or the Ravno’s that flitted in and out.
Still this was why the elder’s where happy to leave it alone. Like the mortal Kings Grimstead was simply to small to be worth fighting over.
Wholey dependent on the human’s that sustained them. Vampires where not encouraged to over farm their humans doing so was somewhat counter productive as Valdermar had discovered.
So in term’s of numbers a total of ten was a reasonable amount for a kingdom so small.
This being the case finding himself suddenly surrounded by more Vampires than Grimstead could ever possibly hope to sustain. This was even more worrying to the elder vampire than having stake of solid wood in his chest.
Vampric society was chaotic and dangerous at best, power was as it always had been held by the kindred capable of holding it. Yet somewhere in blood thirsty chaos order often resided.
He and Siren where powerful, but control of Grimstead by no means put them at the top of the food chain and suddenly he found himself thrust from being the big fish in a small pond, to being a helpless tadpole in the deep sea.
Underhanded dealings and shifty alliances where common place each elder vying for control plotting and planning against their equal’s and using their lesser to get what they wanted.
It was a world where you trusted no-one not even your sire and Vincent recognised how blessed he had been to be sired by a kindred who seemed to genuinely care for his welfare.
However though all the plotting and scheming Kindred had an un-nerving ability to come together when times of trouble threatened their superiority, because for all other supernatural creatures Kindred truly did rule the world.
The dark haired woman walked forward with the un-nerving grace of a kindred ancient and powerful. Reaching forward she grasped the stake lodged in his chest caressing it momentarily in a manner most un-nerving before giving it was quick sharp twist and pulling it free.
Jolting as his body burst back into life he set his feet upon the floor and for the first time since his arrival took his own weight.
Watching while the woman ran her finger down the shaft of the stake, looking with fascination at his blood sitting upon her finger. Tentatively she licked the tip, reminding him somewhat of a small child who’s parents where insisting it tried something new and just like a child she threw it away like an unwanted and unpleasant vegetable, clattering loudly on the floor and leaving a bloody trail as it bounced.
“Vincent of Clan Toreador?” she asked a statement more than a question.
“Yes” he agreed.
“My Ravno’s friends tell me you have been seeking them?”
“Yes” he agreed again “Though I expected a small rabble of Ravno’s not an entire court. May I ask who you are?”
“You may call me Rebekah” the woman replied, her command of his tongue perfect but her accent was thick and heavy marking her as a none native to the area.
He wracked his brain’s “It sounds familiar but I can’t place it” he replied.
“Perhaps you knew my sire, Elihu?”
Vincents legs buckled once again and this time it was not due to a stake in the chest but because he had indeed heard of him and hearing his name jogged the part of his memory that held the information relating to her.
While tracking the genealogy of vampires of Vincent’s potency and lower was difficult at best. So many where created and killed on a yearly basis no-one even bothered to track who’s blood flowed though who anymore.
However the same could not be said for the lower generations. Those particularly close to Caine where well documented and the bloodlines where well known meaning when one of the ancient ones had a child or … heaven forbid was killed everyone knew of it.
Elihu was one such powerful vampire who’s blood was indeed close to caine just a mere handful of generations removed. However rumour had it he had met his fate at the hands of his own child Rebekah and if rumours where true she had done nothing to hide her diablorie.
“You are Ventrue?”
“You have a problem with that?” she asked.
“No not at all” he replied hurriedly, though it did explain a few things. The Ventrue clan always did know how to organise a kindred uprising. “So how may I help you?”
“Walk with me” she asked, “If your legs will hold you?”
“They will hold” he nodded, pulling his jacket from the grasp of his minders and heading quickly to her side, being sure not to bring himself level encase she saw it as a sign of disrespect.
“So what do you know of House Tremere?” she asked when they were a good deal removed from the crowd’s.
House Tremere, the name meant nothing to him.. “Mages?” he asked, being his best guess.
“You have heard of them?” she asked with sudden interest.
“No” he replied hurriedly “Merely a guess based on the name”
“Well they are” she sneered, “We have reason to believe they are trying to turn themselves into Vampires”
Vincent couldn’t help but chuckle “Mages have been trying that for years. The blood it’s incompatible”
“Silence!” she hissed, “We have reason to believe they have or are close to succeeding”
“Yes… you understand why this would be a highly undesirable outcome?”
“Yes of course” he nodded.
“We also wished to speak with Siren. Is she available?”
“Unfortunately not” he replied “She sleeps”
“Most unfortunate” Rebekah sighed.
He contemplated for a moment asking Rebekah to awaken her as she was clearly more than powerful enough, but Rebekah’s demeanour was less than welcoming and he feared the suggestion would be seen less than favourably.
“If I maybe so bold… Can I ask why exactly you are here?”
She looked at him reluctantly but then began to speak. “Thirty years ago one of our Tzimisce became concerned with the number of his clan that where going missing from Avalon. We are used to death’s you understand but these where disappearing without a trace”
He nodded, listening intently.
“He became convinced Mages of the House Tremere where taking them to experiment on in their endless quest for immortality. He tracked there disappearances and found his kin where being staked and put on boats and sent to Grimstead”
“You think there is a house of vampiric mages in Grimstead?”
“I don’t know” she replied, “Now I regret I did not take his obsession to seriously Myca had a grudge against this particular house, because in life he had been a student of theirs. It was their betrayal of him that resulted in his embrace and for that he never forgave them”
Vincent nodded, it made sense the mages would experiment on Tzimisce he supposed. The Tzimisce where the closest clan that Vampires had to mage’s and where capable of Sorcery of sorts. It stood to reason that Mages would pay a clan of magic users a special interest when trying to turn themselves.
“Myca is a young kindred, young but his blood is potent you understand?”
“I understand” Vincent nodded.
“I believed him nothing more than in upstart trying to make an name for himself by killing the mages that had betrayed him in life. I ignored his warnings, however recent events had given me cause to rethink”
“The mages are unsettled, we are unsure of exactly what is happening but it seem’s the other houses are beginning to turn on the Tremere. Naturally this would make sense if the Tremere had indeed managed to turn themselves into vampires”
“I understand, so you want me to help this Myca?”
“No that’s no possible” she replied “Myca’s gone rogue he no-longer listen’s to the wisdom of his elders. He is so focused on his hunt for these Mages it blinds him… he has taken up with demon’s and we believe he’s producing Fomori in an attempt to combat them”
“What do you mean?” he asked cautiously.
“I mean he’s lost to us and should no-longer considered an ally…. But then again” she growled “Rumour has it your head not exactly your own at present”
“I have made no pact” he assured her “They had it inside the King of Darkfire… luring it into my own head we my only option, but I swear I control it… at least until I get it out”
“You risked your own life for a mortal why?”
“For a mage” he corrected, “It was the only clue we had… we knew there was something going on but other than a fledgling Capadocian with panache for causing trouble and demon’s in the mountain, we had little in the way of leads. I’d hoped once his head was clear, the king could give me information”
“And did he?” she growled.
“Sadly I think his mind was lost, he is proving to be less useful than I’d hoped. However if what you say is true it does put a few pieces together”
“Explain” she demanded.
“Friends of mine where recently attacked by creatures they did not recognise, perhaps your Tzimisce was taking his Fomori out for a test run before going up against the mages? It also occurs to me … that perhaps Tariks infection could likewise been a practice run of sorts…. Though it doesn’t explain Lucious’s involvement”
“Who is he?”
“A mage he was the one who infected Tarik with the Demon, though I suppose it what you say is true it’s possible and the mages have turned against this house. Lusicous alignment with our Tzimisce could be an arrangement with mutual benefits… they both want the Tremere dead?”
“Perhaps” she agreed.
“It sounds to me like we need to let this Myca do whatever he plans, let him destroy this house Tremere?”
“You clearly do not understand” Rebekah growled, “Myca will do whatever he deem’s necessary to wipe out the Tremere threat, he will happily take your beloved domain down with him”
“I’m sorry but I fail to understand your interest? Surely Grimstead is such a tiny domain it holds little interest to the council”
“My concern with it is none of your business” she hissed. “Just be grateful I do not want to see it fall”