The Castle Of The Ice Maiden II Braiden Prina

The Castle of the Ice Maiden II

Characters: Gustav (Braiden), Prina
NPCs : Mad Nobleman (Braiden), Anna (Prina)

January 11 2005

On the road, nearing the Castle

Prina says, "I do not recall ever having need of contacting sprites before. And with giants in the area we surely do not wish to attract their attention." [Prina]

Gustav nods, "Exactly my thoughts, lass." He rubbed his stubble-covered chin in thought and the groaned, "Bloody hell. What did I get myself into this time." Leaning against a wall, he folded his arms and closed his eyes, diving into deep thought. [Braiden]

Anna began to make use of the fire by starting a pot of coffee from a few of the supplies while Prina walked to the edge of the encampment. Gazed through a hole in one of the crumbling walls at the countryside beyond, Prina looked for signs of anything to aid them. "Do we really need their help? Why can't we just stay the night here and then head out in the morning before the Giants awake?" [Prina]

His eyes opened slowly and he sighed as sigh of hopelessness, "The sprites would be able to lead us through this storm safely. In this sort of weather, even the giants stay in their caves I hope." He looked around the decrepit remains of the castle and closed his eyes again, "Once the storm lets up, they'll be out again, hunting and we'll have to run." No sooner had the words left his lips than a cloaked figure entered the castle. He was covered in snow and seemed to be limping badly. Without thought, Gustav's knives made their way to his hands and he stood before the women and the intruder. [Braiden]

As the robed figure entered, Prina backed towards the fire where Anna was. Frozen in fear, Anna held the handle of the kettle filled with coffee. Prina took it from her hands and placed it beside the fire as she guided her back, keeping the fire between Anna, her, and the robed figure. Prina watched Gustav's reaction and slid her hand down to check for the dagger in her boot. Anna, finally breaking her fears enough to cast a glance to Prina, her eyes warning. Prina then slowly drew her hand up, not wanting to antagonize the situation. Prina silently nodded and the women huddled together to await what was to come. [Prina]

The figure waved his hands and spoke in an all too familiar voice, "Easy there, guard! It's just me!" The man pulled the hood of his cloak away to reveal the face of the young noble, "Put down those detestable daggers this instant and give me some of that coffee!" Gustav's eyes narrowed at the man before he did indeed place his daggers back into his belt, "You can share our fire, but you should have grabbed your own drink before you left everyone to die." The old soldier turned his back on the young lord and sat himself at the fire, immediately fishing his flask from beneath his furs once more. [Braiden]

In unison, the ladies both breathed out a long sigh of relief and dismay. Prina whispered to Anna, "Of all those to survive, why him?" Anna shrugged and the two moved back to the side of the fire. Anna began to pour a cup of coffee for the noble, Prina took it from her hands and gave it to Gustav with a wink. She then returned to the side of the fire, seeking its warmth and comfort. Anna sat down at Prina's side, both women seeking answers from the noble. [Prina]

For his part, Gustav completely ignored the idiotic lord as he spun a tale of mock-heroics and narrow escapes. He even tried to to blame Angus for running away until Gustav gave him a glare that could kill. "…and that's when I saw the light from your fire and ended up here." [Braiden]

Prina watched the flames as the Noble spun his tale, thinking that he made a poor liar and would not have losted long amongst her people. She raised her gaze to Gustav, her eyes impassionate as she turned to see the noble, then back to Gustav. She knew he would be a liability, and would cause them further harm, but she could say nothing at this moment. [Prina]

Once the story was finished, Gustave stood and loomed over the man, "Listen, you pompous ass. You hired us to reach this castle, not find the lair of an ancient demon! You are lucky I do not slit your throat this very instant! Good men died for your sorry hide!" As he spoke, his face drew nearer and nearer the young lord's until the poor man fell over backwards and had to crawl away from Gustav's ire. The old soldier straightened and turned to Anna with a smile on his face, "You make wonderful coffe, Miss Anna. Might I have some more?" [Braiden]

Anna beamed as he spoke her name. She rose quickly, as she said, "Why, of course." She took the cup from his hand and moved the side of the fire. Kneeling next to it she lifted the pot and ladelled the hot coffee into the cup. Rising in a swirl of skirts, ever careful of spilling she brought the cup back to him. As she handed it to him her fingers touched his causing a blush to wash over her. [Prina]

Prina couldn't help but snicker at the sight of the noble as he tried to escape Gustav's wrath. [Braiden]

Gustav gave her a sincere smile as he took the cup and sipped the hot brew, "Come, sit with me. We'll wile away the hours with stories and coffee." He sat on a pile of old bricks and patted a spot next to him for her to sit down, "Why don't you join us too, lass?" [Braiden]

Anna smiled up at Gustav as he spoke the invitation. "Of course, we would like that." [Prina]

Prina looked back and forth between the two, "Would there be anything wrong with my exploring the castle a bit? If I were careful? Either that or I am happy to just sit beside the fire. I am not up for much visiting today. You two go ahead." [Prina]

Gustav shook his head, "Don't wander at all. We don't know anything about this castle. I don't want anyone getting lost." He turned his gaze to the nobleman, "You wander all you like." [Braiden]

Prina nodded softly. She sat down at the edge of the fire and gazed into it, taking in its warmth.

Gustav began to spin tales of his previous battles as he spoke to Anna, knowing nothing better to talk of. He seemed to have an endless supply and his eyes shined with the memories. [Braiden]

Anna hung on every word. Having never left the confines of the city before his tales wove her through his world into the magical places and dangers he spoke of. Prina slowly began to doze as she gazed into the flames. The sounds of stories and the crackling of the fire taking her back to the home she was now longing for. As she drifted off into sleep visions of swirling colored skirts, of her uncle and her playing the violin, the smell of mulled wine and the taste of the food filled her being. [Prina]

Gustav spun his tales late into the night, getting more and more animated as his flask emptied. It took hours before he finally decided that he was too inebriated to stay awake any longer. He yawned loudly and asked to use Anna's lap as a pillow. Unbeknownst to anyone remaining, the lord had taken Gustav up on his offer to go wandering apparently, as he was nowhere to be found. [Braiden]

Prina curled up beside the fire and slept deeply. [Prina]

Anna smiled at Gustav, her eyes sparkled as he continued his tales despite his speech slurring and having to restart a few due to his inebriated state. She settled back as he placed her head on her lap. Gently she caressed his temple with her fingertips as she herself began to fall asleep. [Prina]

A loud thud brought Gustav to the waking world as he rolled from his seat and onto the ground. As quick as his sleep addled mind could manage, he rose to his feet with his daggers drawn but now, all was silent. He took stock of those around him, noting that everyone, even the noble, was present. [Braiden]

Prina rose with a start to her feet, spinning around, her eyes scanning for where the sound came from. Anna jumped in turn, her eyes looking to Gustav for an explanation. [Prina]

Straining his ears a moment longer, Gustav sheathed his blades and looked to the women, "Don't know what the hell that was but we're not going to wait around to find out. Get your things together. We're leaving now and we'll head east to the settlement." [Braiden]

"Pardon me, but don't you mean west?" asked the young noble cautiously, "There's a small village less than a day from here." [Braiden]

Prina had little to gather, a bit stiff from sleeping on the ground next to the fire she rubbed her back and smoothed her skirts before heading to tend to her horse. Anna collected the pot, tossing the left over coffee and grounds into the fire before moving to her horse while the men settled which way they would be travelling. [Prina]

Gustav looked at the man surprised, "If that's true, that's the way we'll be heading. I don't want to risk running into those giants again." He gathered his things quickly and secured them to his horse before mounting, "Get on, boy. We can't have you slowing us down." The young noble hopped onto the horse easily and wisely kept silent. [Braiden]

The women quickly mounted and followed, Prina narrowed her brow, her mind racing once again by the turn of events. She rode close to Gustav, unable to take it any longer she leaned over and whispered, "If he is as untrustworthy as you say, why are we suddenly trusting him with our lives now?" [Prina]

"Because we have no choice, lass. That coffee is the last of our food and we leave behind the charred remnants of our last firewood." He peeked over his shoulder at the man behind him, "You betray us, you die. Understand?" The man nodded simply and looked anxiously at the surroundings. [Braiden]

"Something is just so wrong here, I can just feel it." Prina sighed and slowed her horse a bit, giving Gustav room. As she came back to where Anna was following the two looked to each other for reassurance. [Prina]

Gustav's eyes darted back and forth. The girl was right. Something felt very wrong and it wasn't just the fact that they were travelling through the apparent hunting grounds of frost giants. He looked back at the women and yelled at them, "Get the horses up to a gallop as long as they can handle it. The snow's not too deep here so they should be able to handle it!" With that, he kneed his own mount and took off through the snow. [Braiden]

Prina didn't need to nudge her horse a bit, it simply bolted, following Gustav as quickly as the mount could. Anna kicked her horse, reluctant to run over the snow, finally getting it to gain momentum towards the two as they raced onwards. [Prina]

They tore through the snow for nearly twenty minutes, their horses already showing signs of fatigue from the intense cold but he knew they could not let up yet. The village would be close by now. Suddenly, only a hundred meters ahead, a giant chasm came into view, having been hidden by a rather large snow drift until that point. Quickly, Gustav pulled on the reins of his horse, bringing it to a sliding halt well before the break in the land but sending the noble spilling from the horse. "Halt!!" [Braiden]

Prina used all her strength to pull back on the reigns of the horse, her feet pushing forward into the stirrups as she pulled the horse to a stop as Anna did the same, all but tumbling from her horse. [Prina]

Standing in his saddle, Gustav surveyed the fissure from left to right, until he could see no more. It must have stretched on for miles and miles in each direction and it was easily 500 meters across. He cursed under his breath and climbed from his horse to snatch the noble by his shirt, "Where the hell have you led us, you fool!?" [Braiden]

The young man hung almost limp in Gustav's grasp until his shoulders began to shake with laughter, "I've led you to your death, old man." All around them, snowdrifts exploded as seven frost giants seemed to rise from the ground. [Braiden]

Prina leaned forward to gaze at the massive hole in the ground. Her eyes wide, she slowly backed her horse from it's edge. Turning on her mount she closed her eyes and sighed. Anna just sat on her horse gazing at the entire scene. She was so happy last night, despite the cold and uncertainty. Prina idly listened, sure that the noble was going to wield yet another lie. She and her mount turned quickly as the giants came out of the snow, not sure where to turn. [Prina]

Gustav spun around, his eyes darting between the giants in shock and fear. Slowly, he drew his daggers and prepared for his last battle. He had no chance whatsoever of surviving against such odds but he would go down fighting. He could at least try to let the women escape. Turning his frightened eyes to the women, he visibly shook as he yelled, "RUN!" Before he could turn back, he heard the baying of his horse as one of the giants hefted it up by its rear legs. "Alright you ugly bastards! Come get me!" he yelled, charging at the largest group of giants, hoping to create an opening for Prina and Anna to escape. [Braiden]

Out of instinct, Prina pulled the dagger from her boot. Shaking her head at what little it could do against the giants she rode hard, heading for a break between the giants. Anna followed on her heels, hesitant to leave Gustav behind. They neared the giants that towered so high overhead, terrified tears fell from Anna's face as rage filled Prina's eyes. [Prina]

"Run little mice, run!" cackled the lord, standing amidst the giants, "Your blood will bring him to me!!" [Braiden]

Gustav's plan worked for all of ten seconds before he was slammed by a powerful fist and sent flying through the air. Luckily for him, the snow cushioned his landing considerably and he was able to raise his head before another giant bore down on him. The world turned upside-down as he was hefted into the air by his right foot and shaken until he dropped his weapons. This was the end, he was certain and the last thing he saw before passing out was four of the giants surrounding Anna and Prina. [Braiden]

Prina's horse snorted and reared up, she kept trying to bolt between the giants, finally her horse falling she called to Anna to run. Anna's horse spun around, her sight catching that of Gustav as he was flung into the snow. Slowly she slipped from her horse, landing in a heap in the snow as she lost consciousness. Prina moved to her side, watching the enormous monsters tower over the two. [Prina]

"Well done! Now, bring the humans. You can eat the horses!" the nobleman cackled with demented glee as he walked off to the north with two of the giants in tow. One held Gustav while the other held the two women, one in each hand. From behind, the dying screams of their horses echoed across the wasteland, amplified tenfold by the chasm. [Braiden]

The more Prina struggled the tighter the grip, she finally relaxed a bit, her anger directed at the small man so far below them. She closed her eyes for a moment as the horses were eaten alive. Thank goodness Anna was unconscious for this, she thought to herself. [Prina]

Within minutes, the man stopped and held a hand up for the giants to do so as well. "Let's see now….where is it-Ah! Here it is. " crouching down, he brushed the snow from what appeared to be a cellar door, buried in the snow. "You!" he pointed to the giant holding Gustav, "Open these doors!" With a grunt, the giant obeyed, pulling the frozen door right out of the ground rather than opening it. Beyond the door lay a set of stone steps, leading to what appeared to be another set of doors, though these doors lay open to reveal a dark room behind. [Braiden]

Prina felt a sense of dread rise up from within at the sight of the depths. Anna regained consciousness for a moment, murmuring as she again fell silent. [Prina]

The hole in the ground was obviously far too small for the giants, so they carelessly tossed the humans down the steps and headed back for what was left of the feast the horses promised. The evil lord shook his head and sighed, "Can't buy good help these days." He walked down the steps and drew a jeweled dagger from his hip, "If either of you two ladies are sill conscious, drag him inside. There's work to be done." [Braiden]

Prina slid her hand down under her skirts to her boot, quietly replacing the dagger before struggling to stand. She looked at Anna, a crumpled heap still lay unconscious. Prina finally stood at the bottom of the stairs, she glanced at the jeweled dagger and the pathetic man holding it. Slowly she began to drag Gustav, her eyes glancing about for any chance of getting them out of there. [Prina]

As they entered the chamber, lanterns adorning the walls slowly came to life, giving light to what must have been an extravagant room at one point. Time and the great cataclysm seemed to have sent everything into disarray, however. What was once fine, oak furniture now lay in heaps no better than firewood all over. The bed was littered with debris of all sorts, including a rather large, faded painting. A large stove stood in the center of the room, covered in dust but still in fair condition. Obviously, that was how someone could stand living in such a frigid place. [Braiden]

Prina was taken aback by the hidden home within the mountain. She continued to tug and pull at Gustav, trying to drag him into the chamber. Finally reaching it's center, she placed him down on a rug then turned and asked, "May I bring Anna in too?" Her eyes looked down the hall towards the stairs and where Anna lay. [Prina]

The man laughed cruelly, "But of course. We need her too." He moved around the room, fishing through piles of debris as he spoke, his knife held tightly in his hand and always watching Prina out of the corner of his eye, "Now, where'd he keep that bloody thing." [Braiden]

Prina walked out into the hall to get Anna. She stood for a moment gazing up the length of stairs that led to her freedom, or to the Storm Giants. She weighed her options and decided that the nobleman would be the easier of the two to vanquish. She gently lifted Anna under the arms and carried her backwards into the chamber. [Prina]

"Aha!" the man yelled, pulling a large, silver chalice from beneath the remnants of a wine cabinet. "Here it is, the key to eternity." He waded through the clutter and turned over a small table that somehow survived the destruction. Setting the chalice on its surface, he grinned evilly at Prina. "You should sit down now." [Braiden]

Prina placed Anna next to Gustav gently. She reached down to move a strand of hair from Anna's face before standing fully again. She rubbed her arms and looked. "What are you looking for" Prina said in an agitated voice. As the nobleman spoke, Prina raised an eyebrow and moved to one of the overturned chairs. She sat it upright and sat down, glad for a soft seat, she crossed her legs beneath her long skirts. [Prina]

Reaching into a pouch at his hip, he retrieved a small scroll and broke the seal, "Rotosectae nositram Prina, liborah Gustav." As he chanted the words, the scroll began to glow and disappear. Suddenly, chains of energy formed around the hands and feet of both Prina and Gustav, binding them to their places. Anna, however, was left untouched by the magic and it was she that the young man approached, "I'm glad you're awake for this, girl. I just wish the old man there was too." [Braiden]

Prina gasp, instantly testing the bonds, her eyes wide as she looked to see Gustav bound too. [Prina]

A bit confused over Anna not being bound, she said nothing on the subject. "What do you intend to do, why have you brought us here? [Prina]

Little did the arrogant man know, Gustav was indeed awake and listening to every word. As quietly as he could, he struggled against his bindings while the man dragged Anna's unconscious form to the middle of the room. "You'll see." Reaching under her, he lifted her up and leaned her on the table next to the silver chalice, "Great Demon, I bring you this offering. Take her blood and grant me power!" Without pretense, he yanked Anna's head up by her hair and dragged the blade of his knife across her throat, quickly pulling her head up and angling the flow of blood into the chalice. [Braiden]

Prina screamed and struggled violently against the bonds. Finally, falling from the chair as Anna's throat was slit. She tried to move forward towards where the noble held Anna's body. [Prina]

The flow of blood died to a trickle as the last of Anna's lifeblood flowed into the chalice and the man began to chant again, still time, the words sounding far more ominous. [Braiden]

Gustav clenched his eyes shut at the scream, glad he wasn't able to see what had happened. He knew in his heart that the woman that had beguiled him was now dead and he had failed her. He closed his eyes and allowed a tear to squeeze from his eye when a voice whispered to him, "Do you wish to save the girl?" The sound was so quiet that Gustav thought he must have been more injured than he thought until the question was asked of him again. "Yes…" he whispered back in his head, "Whatever it takes." [Braiden]

Prina could only whimper, she lay there on her side on the floor shaking from the fear and horror of what had happened to her handmaiden. She looked over at Gustav, fearing he was next, she tried to roll nearer him, watching as the mad nobleman chanted, fearing what would come next. [Prina]

"You must surrender your life to me and I promise that he will die and she will live. Is this acceptable?" the voice asked, echoing through Gustav's mind more solidly than before. Gustav opened his eyes and nodded while replying, "I agree. Do it." In the center of the room, the chalice suddenly shot into the air, dumping its contents all over the madman who stopped chanting. "Wh-what's going on?" Gustav's eyes closed slowly and he whispered to Prina, "You will be safe lass. No matter what happens, live on and continue to be the kind person you are." His eyes closed again and his body was enveloped in a white light. [Braiden]

Prina's mind was a blur as she lay there watching the scene unfold, in her bound state unable to do anything but watch as the white light rose around Gustav and Anna's limp body lie in a heap upon the ground. [Prina]

The light left Gustav's, now lifeless, body and flowed into the chalice. In a soft flash, the light changed to blood and filled the chalice once more. All around the room, the lantern's light changed from a soft yellow to a cold blue and the chalice itself burst into flame in an explosion of light. When the light died, a ghostly figure stood in the center of the room. He was tall and obviously elven, though his entire body seemed made of translucent blue light, "So, I'm back here am I?" [Braiden]

Prina blinked at the sight of the figure in the room. Unable to speak, tears ran down her cheeks as she watched the figure, listened to him speak. [Prina]

The young lord stared in shock at the figure before him and then smiled, "It worked! It worked! I've summoned you! You must fulfill the pact and grant me eternal power!" The ghostly figure smirked and floated over to the man, "You didn't summon me, you pathetic halfwit. He did." the figure pointed to Gustav's lifeless body on the floor, "To complete the pact, blood had to be spilled and a life had to be given, but it was required that it be given willingly." The ghost's grin turned positively evil as he looked at the nobleman, "Now, I will honor his request and destroy you. Give my regards to Ba'al." With a wave of the spirit's hands, the nobleman was engulfed in white flames, his screams filling the room until they stopped abruptly. [Braiden]

Prina shook her head as she listened, still sobbing over the loss of Anna and Gustav. She gazed in shock and horror at the sight of the nobleman in flames. His pain and screaming not near enough to give back what was taken from the world this day. [Prina]

Another wave of his hand dispersed the flames and with them, the ashen remnants of the nobleman. Once he was dead, the spell binding Prina faded away and left only the silence of the abandoned home until the spirit spoke once more, "Hmm. No wonder it was possible to be called back. My soul has many attachments to this place." He floated around from place to place, picking through the scattered articles, "Too bad. I did so love this little refuge." [Braiden]

At first afraid to move, then fearful of moving in terror, finally Prina rose to stand amidst the chaos of the room, and of the lives of those that had brought her here. She watched the figure move about what was apparently his home. Finally, able to speak, a million questions running through her head she managed only to ask softy. "Who are you?" [Prina]

He turned to look at her as if he'd forgotten he wasn't alone, "Hmm? Oh, yes. You're the one I was asked to save. I suppose I could tell you my name. I am Ancient Lord Braiden, or Braiden for short." He couldn't help but smirk at his newest title. Something he'd gained in the so-called afterlife. [Braiden]

Prina walked over to Anna's lifeless body, slowly she knelt beside her, closed her eyes with her trembling hand. She pressed a kiss to her forehead before rising. She turned her eyes away, gazing over to Gustav. "Asked to save?" [Prina]

He nodded, "He made the pact with me to save your life. I threw in vengeance on that steaming pile of horse dung over there." He laughed softly and held his arms out in front of him. Slowly, everything began to lift off of the floor and order itself. Even the destroyed furniture reassembled itself and sat as if it had never been disturbed, "It's too bad the pact required his life. His blood tasted like that of a good soul." [Braiden]

Prina turned around slowly as the room returned to a sense of order. She moved to Gustav's side, knelt beside him. "His blood?" She said as she brushed her fingertips to his pale cheek lightly. His touch was cold, almost clammy. She reached into her pocket and took out the locket of hair that was woven into the cross and left hanging in their tent, what seems ages ago. She placed it in his hand, before crossing his hands over his chest. [Prina]

He nodded, ponder just where he'd put the remaining bottles of wine since he had no use for them as a spirit, "Yes. Part of the pact as well. I really detest the taste of noble blood such as his. He must have been a good man but he wanted to save you more than his life. Oh dear." He turned to a cabinet and sighed in relief as he opened it to find his books where he left them, "Ah. Good. I was worried that someone may have taken them." [Braiden]

In a daze Prina rose and walked to the doorway. She stood gazing out towards the stairwell that rose to the frozen land, the giants, the castle. She leaned against the doorway half comprehending what the Ancient Lord had to say. The cold of the outside world washed over her, her knees growing weak as she brought her fingertips to feel the mark on the side of her neck. [Prina]

"You know, the one that gave you that was little better than a mosquito," he spoke without looking. Instead, he thumbed through his books with a smile, "How I missed this novel. This author had a rare gift." [Braiden]

She half smiled to herself, pondering how she went on about it being an insect. Finally, she turned to watch him move about his home. "You knew him?" [Prina]

"This author? Oh yes. Good friend of mine from about…what year is it now? Oh yes. He lived about 2500 years ago. Remarkable storyteller." He closed the book with care and put it back in its place. [Braiden]

Prina grew dizzier, as she reached for the back of the chair to sit. Finally over taken by the events of the evening her knees buckled and she collapsed to the floor. Her mind in a whirl as she lost consciousness. [Prina]

He turned and looked as the girl fell to the floor, "Hmm…wait til I tell her she's not really human anymore." He chuckled at his joke and took out another book. Heading for his bed, he passed the stove and, with a snap of his fingers, set the stove to life, warming the room quickly. [Braiden]

Slowly Prina began to stir. She awoke to find herself curled up on the floor where she fell. Her entire body aching to the core as she rose, she looked about the room to see she was still there, still in the place where she lost two who were dear to her. Everything that moved ached on her body, more than anything her stomach from lack of drink and food. [Prina]

The bodies of her two friends were gone from the floor, as were any trace that they had died in his home. Atop a large oak table sat a large urn, "Your friends' ashes are in there," he spoke from his bed where he still sat, reading yet another book, "I also performed a human rite for them as well. I hope that will suffice." [Braiden]

Prina winced at his words, and forced her eyes from the urn. She murmured, "at least they are together". Then found a chair to sit on, she smoothed her hands down over her skirts, not sure what to do now. Regaining a bit of her former self, she said "Thank you. So much has happened. I fear I am a bit weakened from it all. And little of it is making sense." She looked around the place, so neat, orderly. No sign of what had transpired. [Prina]

He shrugged and set his book aside, "You'll forgive me if I seem nonplussed. I've seen a great deal in my lifetime. Even more after my death." He rose from the bed and approached her, "Let me ask you something. Have you noticed an aversion to sunlight? Any strange thirst?" [Braiden]

Prina nodded slowly as he spoke of his life. "For a time, after the "mosquito" bit me. I had a bit of trouble with sunlight. Though that passed as we traveled here." She shrugged. "As for thirst, I have not eaten or drank anything since the castle. I think I had coffee there, I am not even sure at this point." She looked up at him, trying to convey how grateful she was at being spared the mad nobleman's wrath. "I could sure use a glass of that wine?" [Prina]

He slowly circle her and inspected her neck, "Hmm. You're fighting it. That's not unusual with a bite this weak. It didn't bit long, did it?" [Braiden]

Her dark emerald eyes followed him as he circled her. Despite her horror of the day, she found him intriguing. "I.. I slept through it." She said. "I awoke to find the mark on my neck. Why do you ask?" [Prina]

Rolling his eyes, he smirked, "What a weakling. You're lucky to be alive though. Any true kindred would have killed you." [Braiden]

"Kindred? Why would anyone want to kill me?" Prina asked quickly. [Prina]

"Oh, don't worry. He wasn't there specifically to kill you. He was just hungry," he said off-handedly. [Braiden]

Prina shivered and brought her fingers to her neck at his comment. "I see" she continued. "And just how often do these creatures get hungry?" [Braiden]

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