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On The Road To Nowhere: The Beginning
Liath looked over at Yalene as she spoke. "Indeed M'Lady. Especially for those far from home." he said with a nod. The corner of his lips turned up into a smile once more, an act that had become more familiar to him in the past week or so. He reached for his plate once more and sliced another slab of flesh from the boar. He looked up from his plate to find Tatyana still looking at him strangely. Slicing a piece of meat from his plate, he used his knife to maneuver it into his mouth. Tatyana stood and moved around the fire. As she passed he felt a gentle touch on his shoulder, which caused him to look at her questioningly. "M'Lady?" he asked softly. At her words he nodded thanks, watching her as she drifted towards the edge of the firelight and beyond. "Take care M'Lady Tatyana. Ye may be right about there being few as unsettling as our friend Matthias out there, but that disnae mean there isnae anything more dangerous."
Tatyana gave Liath a smile as Matthias approached her.
"Lead on you say? How sure are you that I will not lead you astray?" she smiled at Matthias as they left the relative comfort of the fireside and moved towards the darkness of the woods.
Her playful demeanor fell away as soon as the darkness surrounded them and she paused upon hearing the cry of a wolf far in the distance.
"Did you hear that?" her voice held the slightest quiver as she reached for his arm.
Turning her head just slightly to look at him in the moonlight, she watched him for a moment before she spoke.
"You should know, My Lord, that I saw your gaze earlier and where it traveled. Which means you know my secret. Have a care with it. We are hunted even now by that which gave me those marks. I am forever marked and tainted by him." she looked back up to the moon and tilted her head back slightly.
"I felt that you, of all, should know this...before the others did.. Should we cross paths with that being.." she felt it in the air, her body jerked against the calling in her blood, and she lowered her head again and looked at Matthias.
"I did not want us to get off on the wrong foot, My Lord. We are traveling companions afterall...the path we walk is not far apart..."
"Then, he will die." Matthias spoke in a tone devoid of any emotion. "I'm no longer in grace with those creatures, after a few... mishaps." Slowly Matthias' smile returned as he put his hand on Tatyana's arm. "Perhaps it is only fair, that you know the secret I possess." he looked deep into her eyes. She would know that in a vampire's eyes there is a soulless abyss in which one could get eternally lost, yet his eyes twinkled in the moonlight. "Doorways to the soul." he said softly as he looked at her.

"This secret will be known to them when the time is right. Remember this. Now, ye are visibly uncomfortable. Let us return." Although his voice had earlier on been so proper, it now slowly degenerated into his usual accent.
Tatyana's attention was on Matthias as he spoke, the night around them seemed to disappear into nothingness as she looked into his eyes.
Quickly turning her head, she apologized to him.
"Forgive me..I...that is..." she let the sentence trail off into the night and after a moment, looked at him again.
"My Lord, I am forever visably uncomfortable. I long for the days when I was naive to the evils of the world..." the smile that curved her lips was a winsome one and just the slightest bit of musical laughter escaped her.
"But I fear we all long for those days, no?"
Yalene was curious as to where Liath called home, but wouldn’t pry into the lives of her traveling companions if they did not freely give the information. She learned that with the sailors, when a new man would join the crew you wouldn’t ask him about where he was from or what he had done before he walked upon the ship unless he started to openly give the information.
“Ye think the Lady Tatyana and Matthias will fair well alone?” Yalene wondered as she rekindled the glowing embers of the fire.
Matthias let out a sinister laugh, "Naive is not the word of choice." he said as he started to make his way back to the group "Hurry along now, before the big bad beasties can get to ye." A sinister laugh later, and Matthias stood waiting for Tatyana. Normally he would have left her alone, made a few howling noises but he saw something in this girl that he liked. "Ain't got all night after all."
Mila glanced off in the direction that Matthias and Tatyana had gone, her nerves uneasy at the thought of the unpredictable vampire with Tatyana. “I do not believe we have to worry about the bloodsucker, though I must be frank and inform you that I worry for Lady Tatyana’s safety while with him.” She spoke softly though knew her companions would be able to hear her. “But let us not worry.” Mila added knowing she would be able to sense if Tatyana were in any kind of distress while in the company of Matthias.

“Yalene, you are Greek are you not? What area do you hail from?” The ancient woman questioned the younger woman, having picked up on her slight ancient as she spoke though she was unable to place from which area of Greece she had grown up in.
Tatyana gave Matthias a scathing look before pushing past him.
"MiLord, I think you have yet to realize....I am the big bad beastie..." she let a slow seductive smile curl her lips as she turned towards him, walking backwards towards the camp site.
"Careful, I bite." she winked and turned around with a slight skip in her step. Whistling softly, she made her way back to the encampment, satisfied that they were indeed alone and were not being least, from what she could tell. Taking Matthias with her had served a double purpose. One was that she got to talk to him alone, another was that she wasn't alone in the darkened woods.
Two small figures had kept themselves out of Tatyana’s sight, silently watching Matthias and the young gypsy leave the vicinity as the two stayed hidden in the trees.
“This is much better than the wars.” The small boy remarked in a low tone swinging his legs back and forth as he tore apart a leaf from the tree.
“Hush, if they find out we’ve abandoned our duties they’ll have our heads Eadric.” His female counterpart scolded, as her eyes darted about the wooded area to see if anybody had in fact found that the two children had strayed from their task.
“They won’t find out.” The boy assured as he hopped down from the tree and disappeared like a cloud of vapor, the little girl shook her head and hopped from the branch after her brother, disappearing much like he had moments before…


At camp the fire continued to bathe the surrounding area in a warm glow as Yalene rekindled the dying embers, they were in fact alone in the French countryside, or so they assumed. Stràcair was not catching any unfamiliar scents on the air and the only sound for miles was the evening noises of small animals; the travelers had been lucky not to have encountered problems in their travels thus far.

- Theore
Yalene broke into a wide smile, “aye, I am Greek. My accent is not discernable, I was not brought up in a stationary place; but my family ‘ails from the Dodecanese Island of Rhodes, Lindos is where my family ‘as a ‘ome.” She answered in a flurry of words as she reached over for another bit of meat.
“I do not think we need t’worry ‘bout Lady Tatyana, she seems t’possess strength t’keep Matthias from ‘armin’ ‘er.” The sailor observed thoughtfully, “Don’t ye agree, Liath?” She questioned the large man.
Matthias smiled at Tatyana, he liked her style. He turned around for only a second before he walked to the side of Tatyana again and grabbed her gently by the arm "Be my guest." His voice had a sultry tone to it as he looked at her and then turned his attention to the nearing camp. "We don't really need to go back there, do we?" A grin passed his lips for just a second.
Liath looked at Yalene as she spoke, considering her question as he chewed the tender boar. Sparks danced upwards between to join the stars above as she stoked the fire. He glanced over to the wolf lying beneath the cart, staring out attentively into the darkness after Tatyana and Matthias. "Stràcair will warn us should things nae go well. Although ah'm certain nothing untoward shall occur." he said between mouthfuls. He hefted another chunk of meat into his mouth and sat listening to Mila and Yalene as they spoke. "Ah think there's more tae Lady Tatyana than we've yet seen." he said in response to Yalene's final query.
Tatyana looked down at Matthias hand on her arm, then back up and him with a grin of her own.
"Well, if we don't My Lord I fear not only shall I look like a tart, but an easy tart at that. And I do have a feeling that they might come out looking should we be gone for too long, fearing you've done something wicked to me." She smiled again and started walking back towards the group.
"But then again, that's what you've had in mind, am I not correct, something wicked?" she smiled as she walked back into the relative safety of the fire.
"We are alone from what I can figure, my Lords and Ladies. So, what tales shall we hear this eve?"
"Aye, they would." His grin remained on his face as his eyes twinkled in the moonlight while he spoke "Wicked is of course an opion." He raised his brow and gave a gentle laugh. "But revealing what I had in my mind would ruin the surprise, wouldn't it? So it is really up to ye te find out." When they returned to the camp, Matthias made his way over to his stack of clothes that lay to the side and grabbed his little set of cards, that he had recently pilfered of some Asian man who had come to Europe on journey and was promptly fed on. "Of course, I do have a tale if any be interested?"
“I’m sure ye’re tale would involve violence of the utmost amount.” Yalene remarked to Matthias with some akin to a smirk, “But if ye wish t’tell ye’re tale, I will allow it.” If she was in fact right and the tale involved violence, they would know for further evenings that Matthias’ tales were not of a sweet and pleasant kind, but perhaps the night-dweller would surprise them with a tale that was not at all what any would expect.
Tatyana laughed softly, but it sounded so melodic that it could hardly be laughter, as Yalene spoke to Matthias. Seating herself next to Liath, she spread her volumous skirts around her, daintily tucking her feet back and covering them up. She looked him for a moment before reaching out and picking up a platter and grabbing some of the food. Being a gyspy by nature, she was used to have to steal her food if needed. Now was not the case, she was simply satisfied that they were alone and could take the time to relax and eat.
"A tale most wicked I would assume." Tatyana murmured to Matthias before she started eating, giving him a challenging glance, she looked to Milla and Yalene and smiled "How could it not be?"
"Violence? Och, what would be the use. All I'd do would be scaring the little lads and lasses during me act." He said as he rose up, with the set of cards in his hands. "Now these cards, I stole from some Asian man shortly before we hit the road, and I've been using them for me acts and tales ever since. I'm hurt none of ye ever came to watch." a laugh that resembled a howl followed as Matthias showed the group five cards: the King, the Queen, the Jack, the Joker and the Ace.

"Now, the story I'm about to tell hails from a faraway land called Markovia, between Symkaria and Latveria. You see, this Queen of Markovia was at war with Symkaria and the only way she could end the war, was to marry the prince of the enemy, and all the things that come with that marriage. The older ones amongst you..." For a moment he was silent and looked over to Yalene and then the others "might be familiar with the other... pleasures of the flesh, to call it so, accompanied with this holy bond. Of course the Queenie doesn't much like the idea." He held up the card picturing the Queen "So it is the night before the wedding, and our little lady is sitting on the throne all by herself, when in comes the Joker, cackling with madness." Now, he held up the Joker card "Many carnal thoughts later, the two fell in love. Aha!" He screamed with joy and jumped on "But our resident Jack and King aren't really into all this and plan on invading the Markovian Castle at the strike of midnight. But it is when our lovely Joker turns out the be the Ace, king of Latveria, that the villains are defeated and he and the Queen live happily ever after, with two daughters."

"Of course, I spared ye all the violent ending where yours truly rapes the Princesses, murders the Ace and sires the Queen. Ah... Celeste, those were the good old days." He looked up at the group "So any praises, comments, questions. I'm here all night."
Yalene quirked an eyebrow, “I would ‘ope ye leave out the ‘orrible endin’ when ye regale the crowds with the tale as well.” She brought her legs up and crossed them, sitting precariously on the log, “Was expectin’ a tale filled with much more bloodshed, t’be ‘onest! I ‘ave sea tales that are more violent than what ye just told.” Yalene was impressed with the way he had told the tale, but hadn’t been expecting it to be as non-violent as it was…even with the ending he had supposedly left out it still wasn’t the worst she had ever heard.
“’Course, I won’t be regalin’ ye with any o’those tales. Not in this black night.” The sea scamp looked over at Mila, “I’ve a little bird that told me Lady Mila ‘as quite a tale t’tell.” She gave the seamstress a wide grin, cocking her head to the side.
"Well, if ye want, I could describe the raping, siring and the murdering in great detail." He said with a grin. "But nay, I never tell that ending to the wee ones, although some of the oldies like the way I can go in detail about the Queen. Every nook and cranny." he tapped his head "All from there, although sometimes I change a little fact here and there, dependin' on personal tastes." After he had spoken he took another platter with food and circled around the group before he sat down quietly besides Tatyana, but not before taking a quick peek down her blouse.
“Well Nightwalker that was not as full of gore as I expected, you are definitely not like your kind…” Mila’s amber eyes roamed over Matthias trying to catch a gesture or look that might give away his true pleasure in remembering the last part of that tale, for she was sure it was the part he loved to remember the most. “Tell me, why is it your kind can be so loving towards one another…. yet kill innocent humans?” It was a simple question and one that had been haunting Mila since the first time she’d stumbled across a vampire in the 6th century, pushing dark hair out of her eyes the immortal woman had laid aside her sewing so as not have any distractions while she was telling her tale.

“I’ve many a tale to tell, so I wonder Lady Yalene which one it is you speak of?” Mila smiled softly at the younger Greek, Yalene being the only person in their traveling troupe that she’d known before hand. “I can tell tales of love and peace, war and violence’s and something in-between…so after the Nightwalker’s tale what is it you would all like to hear?”
"Innocent? No one on who lives will ever be innocent. The only truely innocent creatures are vampires. Blessed they are without a conscience, and are thus forever innocent, for they are pure in heart." Matthias said with a hint of nostalgia in his voice "Is it not the same with you eating that piece of meat? I assume you love your kind, as any one of us would, but you proceed to kill innocent animals. Why? Because they are nessecary for your survival. Same applies to humans." his voice had grown a tald cold and harsh, but Matthias restrained himself in the eye of what he saw as hypocrisy.
“I thought you smarter then that bloodsucker. For one so old as yourself should be able to identify that I am no more human then you.” Mila exclaimed with a snarl to her voice, her amber eyes flashed with a hint of anger at the way Matthias appeared to talk down to her and suggested that she was some kind of hypocrite. “I have lived 10 times longer then yourself and have seen the horrors that humans have inflicted on one another, so I am not suggesting that humans are innocent and vampires are not. It was a merely a question, nothing else.” The immortal woman’s hands were balled in fists at her side, and she fought the urge to put Matthias in his rightful place, shifting her weight a bit Mila glanced around the fire at her four companions trying to figure out their opinions of her after her outburst.
Tatyana cleared her throat just slightly and placed her plate next to her.
"Then I am but a child amongst you. My views and opinions and tales would be nothing but silly childrens tales used to lull a babe to sleep." she looked at Matthias, then at Milla before letting her gaze rest on the fire.
"I have seen much, I have been countless places, but I can only imagine they barely begin to compare with the things you have. I've never been on a ship.." she glanced up at Yalene and smiled softly before looking at the fire again... "and I've never met a giant before.." again, she glanced at Liath with curiousity.
" I cannot see where the tales of a gyspy would entertian anyone. Which is most likely why I stick to dancing and singing and reading the cards."
Perhaps she wasn't ready to tell her tale to the group. She knew Matthias had seen the scars on her bosom but felt he would not reveal her secret just yet.
Drawing her legs up to her, she wrapped her arms around her them and let her chin rest atop knees and continued to gaze at the fire.
"And if you had paid attention to my words, I talked of your kind. It doesn't matter if you are human or not, I still see you eating off an innocent animal, do I not?" Bloody hypocrit. Matthias gave off a snarl himself and then stood up "If you'll excuse me, it is time for meditation." Now he smiled again "Anyone is free to join me." He glanced for a moment at Tatyana. "The food was excellent Liath, thank you." and he walked off, looking back for just a second at Mila. Bloody immortal empath.
Liath smiled around a mouthful of meat as Tatyana took her place next to him. He did not speak, content simply to watch and listen to those around him. When he had something worth saying he would say it, but he had never been one for engaging in idle banter.

He found it amusing however that he had recently caught himself speaking his thoughts aloud as he walked with only Stràcair for company. He glanced over at the wolf, which had returned to gnawing on the bones he had tossed it. He could see the firelight glinting in it's eyes as it glanced up sharply and looked across the camp.

Stràcair stared intently into the woods at the far side of the campsite for a few moments, and then apparently satisfied there was nothing there, lowered his head once more. Turning his gaze back to his other companions Liath chewed thoughtfully as he listened to Matthias tale of royal debauchery and the brief discussion afterwards. As Matthias left the circle, he nodded in response to the compliment about the meal. "Thank ye. And thank ye for the tale also." he said as he cleaned his plate before laying it to his side. Pulling free some blades of grass from the ground, he used them to wipe the juices from his knife before he stretched his arm towards the fire, holding the blade of his knife within the flames for a few moments. Satisfied it was now cleansed, he returned it to it's place on his belt. As he sat back, he turned towards Tatyana. "Ah dinnae think ye should belittle yerself in such a fashion M'Lady. Around this fire we are all equals. Nae one o' us is greater or more worthy than another." He smiled, his face seeming to become less like carved rock in the warmth of the firelight. "And as for meeting a giant? Mayhap some evening ah will tell ye the tale o' a real giant."

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