Elizabeth and her Mother spent the remainder of their day in preparation for a storm that they knew would eventually strike from the actions of this day. Plans were made for the child, Margaret… she must be sent safely away from her Father’s reach. They decided that she would go on to Wales with her brother, Henry. Catherine would supervise the girl’s training and they knew well that she, if anyone could, would be able to restore some peace to the child’s mind and heart. The safety of Margaret and young Eleanor was then planned. They would return to Margaret’s present residence where she felt most comfortable but all of the staff there would now be governed by the Queen’s authority. Before her return there, they would ensure that none of Richard’s spies remained.
There was one last concern they must deal with, and Brenny was called to meet with Jacquetta late that night. Brenny was not normally one to give in to her fears or her tears, but these last few days had taken a toll on her. She knew her duties here were coming to an end, and after today’s event, she was soundly glad of that. Her fear of what was to come with her return to Scotland weighed heavily on her. She wanted to be gone from all of this English place so full of lies and evilness but she knew that the place she must return to would hold no better for her. James would be there waiting, waiting for her to give in and comply with his own deceptions. She knew there was no way that these women could avoid sending her back to his hands without causing more problems all around. She knew this and was resigned to her fate. All she could do was pray to her Goddess and the Ladies for some kind of miracle or divine intervention.
She made her way slowly to Jacquetta’s private apartment, lost deep in her thoughts along the way. When she finally arrived, she found Eric there with Jacquetta. He took her hand and led her over to a seat by the windows looking out at the ocean beyond them. Eric could feel her tension and her grief, and tried to calm her as Jacquetta spoke softly to her.
“Ahh, Dearest Brenny still your fears for now. You have done well for us in this matter and we would seek to protect you as much as possible in return.” Jacquetta took a seat next to her so that she was in the middle, surrounded by the love and kindness of these two people whom she had come to care about. She could feel their thoughts of reassurance floating through her, seeping into her veins, she began to relax and tried to listen as Jacquetta continued on. “I know of what you must return to, and as much as I have tried to think of other ways, I can not go against returning you.”
Brenny’s heart sank, she tried not to cry, tried to stay strong as she knew she should but the thought of returning there kept overpowering her mind. She was only half listening as Jacquetta went on. “Brenny, you must be on your way, away from here for this is not your battle, not your fight to be involved in any longer. You have your own path to follow and that path is one you must start on now. You have some choices to make, and they must be your own. The choice will not be an easy one to make and you must think long and well on it before deciding.”
Brenny looked at Jacquetta in confusion through tears. Her mind had wandered and she was not quite sure of what the woman was speaking to her. She admitted her puzzlement. “I understand that I must leave now and return to James. What of other choices, I have few of those. If I should not return to him, he will surely have me hunted down and bring more devistation down on those women left. He knows of where they are and the only thing that saves them right now is my abiding by James’ decisions.” She spoke sadly as she thought of those quiet ancient ones who had raised her, trained her and loved her.
Jacquetta looked at Eric and he nodded in some silent agreement for her to go on with her thoughts. “Of course you have choices, we always have choices in life. It is just that they are not always easy for us to put our hearts or our minds to. And, often we must make choices to save others rather than ourselves. You have done this in your choice to save the Ladies. Now, you must face some other choices in your life. Before anything else, you must know that the Ladies will remain safe no matter what you choose. None will find them, they will be well guarded and protected throughout time.” Brenny cast her a doubtful look at which she smiled smugly. “What, you doubt the powers of the Witches and the Vampyres to protect this circle of ancient and wise Fairie women?”
Brenny lowered her head and murmured an apology for her doubts. “No, my Lady, I do not doubt those powers so much greater than my own. If they could be made safe, that would be one less fear for me to have constantly overhead. Then, I should only have to worry about my own head, and the future of Scotland under James’ rule… that is enough of a worry for anyone I suppose.”
Jacquetta sighed with her. “Scotland’s battle will be as ever bloody as England’s I fear. There is little I can do about that. I can do nothing to change their history or their future. I have my hands full just trying to salvage some of England’s. You can how ever, make a difference in your own way for your country and their future. Your path and your destiny is with Scotland and magic contained there. But, you must stay alive in order to achieve that.”
Brenny was still bewildered by Jacquetta’s musings. “Well, if I should strive to stay alive and remain loyal to my history and to my country, then I am in quite serious danger. I can not do both. If I choose to stay alive then I must comply with James and share with him all that I know from my music and my history… I know that he would use it to change his own destiny.” She bit on her short, already mangled finger nails nervously.
Eric stepped into the discussion while calmly removing her ravaged nail from her mouth. “Gods, Girl leave those be… if you’re hungry I shall get you food! If you continue to torture those nails, they might one day flee from your hands in terror.” He laughed and patted her still shaking hand.
“Now, enough of these ponderings and puzzlements. Let us get to the point of this. We shall speak of your options now bluntly. Yes, we must of course go through the motions of returning you to James. If not, we should end up with yet another war that we are not prepared to battle right now. The trip will be treacherous and most dangerous as it always is. There are always accidents along the way in which people lose their lives. Perhaps, you might unfortunately meet with one of those untimely tragedies. It would be most sad and grievious for all of us but, it does happen? Now, in order for James to be appeased and not be suspicious, you would naturally have to remain dead, cease to exist as who you are now. We would also have to provide him with solid proof that you are indeed dead. All of these things could be accomplished should you wish to make this choice. I will warn you now though, that as Jacquetta mentioned, this is a serious decision on your part and once you have made this decision, you can never go back on it.”
Another wave of fear washed over Brenny and she felt a heavy stone laying in the pit of her stomach. She was not sure she wanted Eric to say any more but she knew she had to ask. “What are you suggesting? You must be honest with me and tell me exactly how such a thing would be achieved…and how should I go on with my life from this?”
Jacquetta closed her eyes in prayer and in her own gnawing fear for the decision this young girl must make. Eric stood and stared out the window at that ocean as he spoke, “Brenny, I know that you are of many bloodlines, Human, Royal and witchly. You have lived your life safely protected by the ancient Fairie women so they have left their traces upon you as well. Now, the Vampyres are offering up their protection of you along with their shared bloodlines. They can offer you far more protection as one of them than either the Witches or the Fairies can at this time. You will have an eternally long life in human terms, in which to find a way to help your people. If you would consider this option, you will give up much but gain more in return. It is a difficult decision and you must think on it. We have time on our trip north for you to decide. If it is a choice you feel you can make without reservations, then I shall turn you and you will become my family evermore. I do not take this responsibility lightly, Brenny. You will be forever my family and under my protection.”
He stared at her thoughtfully with much more to add, but wanted to do it in private. Eric motioned to Jacquetta. “If you could leave us for a time my Lady, I would like some moments alone with Brenny.” Jacquetta nodded and turned to leave. She knew of what he would speak and she felt compassion for Brenny, whom she knew felt many things for Eric… most of which were not of family bonding in the way he must explain to her.
After Jacquetta left, they were alone. Seated together again on the window seat, Eric picked up Brenny’s hand and stroked it gently. She was trembling in fear and so many doubts. He knew too that she had some other thoughts in her mind which he must take great care to dispell. She stared down at her hands held so softly in his.
“Brenny, Love, Look at me now as I speak to you. This is most serious and you must fully understand all of the consequences of this decision.” He hesitated for a second, seeing the fear, the light, and the tears in her eyes. He did not want to hurt her in any way and wanted to go into this with a completely clear conscience, just as he wanted hers to be. “Brenny, there are some things you must understand about this decision and this change.” For once, Eric was without humor and at a loss as to how to go about this explanation. He struggled to find those right words and had to pause often. “I know that there have been feelings more than just of friendliness between us. We have both felt it and acted upon it occasionally.” A soft smile played on her lips as she thought of those times. She wondered what he was leading to. This was not his usual mood and there was a faint, tiny shard of hope building within her.
Eric felt that small glimmer of hope and swore to himself. “Damn the Gods for this! Brenny, what I must tell you is that once you make this choice, we will never again be in that way with each other.” He swore again as he saw the look of hurt spread across her face. He held her hands tigher in his and willed her to look straight at him once more. “Brenny, there is so much more you must understand about this Vampyre bloodline before you choose this. All that I can explain for now is that you and I are not destined by the stars as soul mates. My turning you will create within us a family bloodline, much as parent and child, or as siblings. We will be forever bound together as family but not as mates.” He sighed in some sad frustration. “I care deeply about you Brenny, probably more than I should. It will be difficult for us to go on in this way but it is the only way.”
Tears filled her eyes as she thought about what he was saying. She could not help but feel like one more loss had just been set on her. She tried to wipe the tears away but failed as they ran down her cheeks. Her mind, that was already filled with so much confusion, grasped on any small thread of hope available. “What if…” She hesitated for a moment before putting voice to this small thread. “Eric, what if there were some other way… what if some other Vampyre were to turn me?” Tears hung in her eyes and that thread of hope hung as well in the air.
Eric shook his head and stroked her cheek as he tried to let her down, tried to ease that thread of hope away in a fashion that would not hurt so much. “First of all, Brenny, I would trust no one else to turn you. I could not bear to see you in some other family. I care too much for you in all ways. Even if someone else were to turn you, it would not mean that we would be together as mates for eternity. Our paths, our courses in life and our destinies are set by the stars and the God and Goddess above. If someone else should turn you, you would be forever tied to their path, their destiny in life. If I turn you, Brenny, you and I will travel this path together as family and I will see that you are strong enough to follow your calling and your path that might veer from mine at times. Brenny, I can not offer you wedding or bedding, nor an eternal love such as mates share. That is not in my power, but I can offer you one thing of which you have so little right now. I can offer you family, an eternal family bond of caring that none will ever be able to destroy.”
He silently pulled her close and held her as she cried long into the darkness. Finally, exhaustion took over, she curled up next to him and drifted into a fitful sleep. Eric sat there holding her and prayed that she could find the strength to make the right decision. He asked the Ladies to help her, guide her through this nightmare and come out on the other side strong enough to face her future.
The next day while Eric was sleeping, Brenny sought out Jacquetta again for one last heart to heart discussion. She was much fearful of her future either way she should choose and needed the older woman’s wisdom in sorting it out. Jacquetta looked on this young woman much as one of her own daughters and it tore at her heart, the choices this girl was faced with. She reassured her once more that no matter what should happen, the Fairie women would ever remain safe and hidden from this time forward. Their small glen would disappear into the mists and the forests. None but those who knew how and where to look would ever find them again. Should James send his men back there in search, he would discover but an empty space left there. It would appear that the women had taken flight and escaped into the night. He could search all he might, but he would never find trace of them again and would be hard pressed to find evidence to back his claims of their existance. If he persisted in that vein, he would look the fool and cast doubts upon his rational thinking.
Jacquetta told Brenny wisely that this was her chance to begin a new life, one not burdened with the trappings of her Royal lineage. Few ever recieved this sort of chance to relieve themself of that heaviest cloak. Yes, she would give up much in return for it, but in reality was it all so much in light of what she would recieve? She should think deeply on it and look at this choice as a gift from above considering her present circumstances. She reminded Brenny of what had already happened to her Father, who had chosen to take a stance against James and had tried to protect Brenny from his world. Brenny’s Father, John Stewart, Earl of Mar had tried in vain to keep Brenny’s very existance a secret in order to afford her some safety and protection. He was now as they spoke, a prisoner of his brother James, accused of numerous transgressions against his brother the King. As far as they knew, he was not dead as yet but nothing had been heard of him in some time so they could only assume the worst as to his fate. Brenny had never known him but did know that his reasons for that were in her best interests. She knew deep inside that he cared for her and for her Mother who had died giving birth to her. Brenny held no resentments against him for doing only what he deemed the best course of action at the time.
Her Father was the only connection that she had to the throne and James held his fate over her head as well as the Fairie women. When she questioned this to Jacquetta, the older woman answered sadly. “Child, his fate is not in your hands. It was sealed long ago when he made his choices to go against James. James will most likely kill him no matter what, if he hasn’t already. James is using this as yet another ploy, another thing to hold over you. He has most likely used you as the same over your Father. Your Father is true in his faith, his cause and his loyalties… and he will most certainly give up his life for all of them. That is his choice. What you must look to is the fact that he has given up all to protect you, to give you a life worth living. Would you throw that away now and cause his efforts and his death to mean nothing in the end?”
A few days later, Eric and Brenny made their way deep into the forests upon their journey away from this England towards a new destiny. Brenny did find her strength and her courage to take that next step in her life’s path. One night as they traveled through the darkness that Eric was so comfortable in, she asked him quietly for more details on how they should carry this plan out should she decide to go along with it. Her mind was already made up but she wanted to be certain that it should all work the way he thought it would. It was a grave step she contemplated and she wanted no misgivings on it. Eric understood her concerns. He had his own as well and only prayed that it would all work out the way he hoped.
“The key to it’s working is in that James must have prood beyond all suspicion that you are truly dead. We can accomplish that if we time this all carefully.” He saw the doubt in her eyes and explained further. “Once you are turned, there will be a short amount time in which your body will shut down and appear for all purposes to be dead, should anyone including a physcian examine you.”
Brenny gave a shudder of fear. “I must know more of this process and what will happen. I do not want to enter blindly into this not knowing of what to expect.” Eric nodded. “Tis wise of you to want to know ahead of time. Many of us did not have that option.”
They rode on queitly discussing all of it. Shortly before the dawn broke into the sky, they stopped to make camp near a stream and a small hidden cave. Once inside, Brenny discovered that the place was not so abandoned as it looked from outside. Obiviously it was well used by others. Eric smiled at her as he motioned her to sit on a comfortable cushion. “There are a great many of these rest stops througout the wilderness. One must only know where to look for them.”
They sat on the cushions, shared a meal of bread and cheese and washed it down with warm blood Ale from Eric’s traveling provisions. She watched him closely as he ate. “I still do not understand all of your blood, and what could soon be mine. Legends say that Vampyres do not eat and survive only upon the blood of others. Yet, I often see you eating.”
Eric laughed softly, “Well, you answered yourself… Tis but legend and greatly exaggerated myths that surround us. Of course we eat, just as others do. The difference is in that our sense of taste is a bit different than yours. Your food is often far too bland and unappealing to us so we tend to pass on the fare your kind offers to us. As to the blood… it involves many things and some of it is more ritual than anything else. It is in the blood that you find much needed nurishments so important to our health and our survival. Tis not just in human blood, but in any living thing. It is very complicated, much as your study of alchemy and minerals is.”
Eric went on to give Brenny a quick but important lesson for the future. It was vital that she know such things. One must be extremely careful in what kind blood they ingested for the blood would mix with their own and leave traces of the previous one within them. He made the following comparison. “You would not partake of food that smelled foul, or that which you knew to bad, would you. Well, tis the same with blood. If you drink of bad or tainted blood, you will become ill or tainted yourself in some way. Always be well aware of that when making a choice of meals.”
Brenny logged the information into the back of her mind and settled in the folds of Eric’s arms to find some much needed sleep. He held her, stroked her wild hair and murmured a soft regret. “Ahhh, Brenny I know tis hard for you to understand and accept. I will try always to make it easier upon you.” She could feel his fingers winding through her hair as she started to drift into sleep but suddenly wakened at his next whispered comments more to himself. “I shall miss these wild flaming tresses of yours.”
She reached up to her hair and pulled it away from him. “Why? What should happen to my hair.” Not wanting to admit it openly, she had a great fondness for her hair. It was one of those small vanities that she held to and of all the more serious matters at hand, she was shamed to admit that she did not want her hair to change. What was he speaking of… what could happen to her hair?
Eric sighed and had to explain this possiblility to her. “Ahhh when you are turned and have a mix of my blood running through you, there is a possibility that the color and the texture of your hair will change to look more as mine.” He swatted her hands away as she tried to pat her hair, and continued running his fingers through the waves. “How many Northerners do you often see with hair such as yours? Mayhaps that is why we are so attracted to ones such as you with these flames of amber flowing about you. Or, perhaps that too is why some look upon your hair with fear and contempt in their secret envy that they do not have such locks.”
She pondered on that for a few moments, and suddenly had another thought that kept her from sleep. “But, Eric if this should happen, then how do you explain it to those viewing my supposed dead body?” Her fear of this plan not working came back at her as she struggled in his arms and waited for his answer. He pulled her close and tightened his hold of her, whispering in her ear. “Oh hush now Brenny, give your mind and mine some time to rest from all of these questions. Besides, tis a slower process. Your hair will not change immediately. You will be left looking a bit odd for a time as the new hair grows in.” He laughed softly at the image of Brenny with her changing hair that might cause her to eventually do the unthinkable and just shear the flame colored tresses off.
As she sank into sleep, Eric was still awake holding her soft curves against him… torturing himself, he thought but couldn’t bring himself to let her go yet. He knew this must be a lesson in his life to overcome and accept. Eric was oft accused of being a user of women. In his own defense, he countered, he was never known as an abuser of them. He admitted readily that he enjoyed them, enjoyed their company as well as those other pleasures they so willingly offered to him. His men often made the comment that should an enemy army truly want to win against Eric, all they would need do was send out a buxom and beautiful woman to the field and wait for Eric to come to her rescue. If they should ever learn that secret, he would surely be felled by a woman! His friends berated him at times for preferring to bed a woman than participate in the so called glorious blood lust of a battle in the field. He just laughed and chided them all, “Well, Now and who in their right mind would not prefer the feel of a warm and willing woman over that of cold hard steel.”
Eric drifted into sleep with those thoughts, knowing that this would be forever a most difficult challenge for him. He prayed that once she was turned, the physical desires they felt for each other would fade away.
Their journey was slow, taking place mostly at night through the forests, across the churning rivers and up into the hills bordering Scotland. They must make it close to Edinburgh Castle before setting the remainder of their plan in motion. Brenny had made her choice and as they traveled, Eric told her as much as he could of what to expect.
Once they were close to the Castle where James was currently residing, Eric would turn her and friends of his would join him in escorting her lifeless body into the Castle grounds. There would be rumors of a plague type illness overtaking her and of her dying an agonizing and gruesome death of this ailment. He assured her that between the actual turning, and a ghastly concoction that his friends would provide, her body would give such an appearance that none would want to get too close to it. They would most likely bury her quickly to avoid any further contact. After that, the Vampyres would retrieve her body. When she awoke, the transformation would be completed and he would be waiting for her to take her to a new life far from the eyes and ears of James.
He warned her that it was all still very risky and everything must go perfectly according to plan. Should one single step go out of timing, they would all be in desperate danger. She nervously nodded her understanding of this precarious attempt to save her life. Though she knew well that this was her best choice, it did not stop her from being dreadfully afraid of all of it. “Eric, tell me the truth in this… Will this turning be a wretched and painful thing?”
Eric took her hand in his as he answered her. “I will not lie to you Brenny. The initial part will be quite pleasant and you will in fact be in a state where you want it to go on. It tis the afterwards that will cause you such tremendous pain, such burning agony that you will wish to die. You will beg for death to take you and it will come so close to you that you will feel it invading your body, shutting all of your body down save the only part you wish it would… your mind will be still be aware of every detail. Every memory you have stored in your recesses will flash before you, along with new ones that you know nothing of. You will experience my memories as well and they will become a part of yours. Your mind will begin to wander into some dim, distant place of delirium. A place where you will think that you might never escape from.” He felt Brenny’s hand tremble and tense within his.
“The worst part for you Brenny is that you will have to experience much of this on your own. Normally we are able to stay with those in this changing state to guide them, to ease some of the discomforts. But, we can not do this with you. For this plan to work, you must be turned over to James and he must be convinced to bury you quickly. You will be alone, buried in earth and the only way we will be able to help you is to reach you with our thoughts. In your new and tangled mind state, you will have difficulties letting us into your mind in order for us to help you.”
Brenny shivered and made attempt to summon her deepest strengths to get through what he was describing. “If anything goes wrong with this, we shall all be burned at the stake or worse… won’t we?”
Eric grimly nodded. “If this fails, then it shall all be over for us anyway…though not in any way that we should choose to leave this world in.” He and his Vampyre friends were putting their lives on the line to save hers in the only way they could think of. None of them were sure it would work but all were willing to try because it was for a greater good than their own. That is what they held on to, what they lived their lives by.
The God, the Godess and quite possibly all of the others who might have heard their prayers were with them that day at Edinburgh Castle. Brenny fortunately remembered little of it after that most pleasant feeling of delicious warmth, tingling and craving for more as Eric bit her and brought her to a point of near death and held her as one of the others quickly forced a disgusting and vile liquid down her throat causing her to gag before putting her into a much deeper induced death state.
What James was presented with was her wasted body in the last throes of a seemingly agonizing death, the vilest of liquid still dripping from her lips. He had taken one look from a distance and done what they all hoped for. He quickly motioned for them to cover her back up, turned his back to wretch violently at the foul smell she emitted, and waved for them to take her body away. There was seen no need for the pysicians as it obvious she was alread dead. Priests had been called upon but even they dared not get too close to her. There was some quick debate over to bury her or burn her body. At that point, Eric and the others with his group had stood still breath held in prayer. If they should decide to burn her, they would do it immediately and there would be no chance to save her.
One of the priests had conferred with James for a few moments before returning to the edge of the group surrounding her. He waved for them to take her back outside the walls of the Castle where she should be buried hastily. The few priests put in charge of her burial followed the group at a safe distance and pointed to a small grave yard where she should be inturned. Eric and his men were set to dig her grave, set her into it and bury her as fast as they could. One of the priests said the required prayers over her while another set about marking the site with stones. A priest came from the Castle with a small bucket and splashed the stones with animal blood as a warning sign to those who might think of disturbing the grave or getting too close to it. After it was finished, the Priests sternly informed the group of travelers that they were not to enter the Castle grounds for any reasons until such a time as it was proven that they were not ill as well. The Priests retreated to the Castle and the gates were closed against any further entrances for the near future.
Eric and the other men made as though to leave, having done what they were called upon to do. They camped nearby in the wooded hills and waited until the thick darkness came. Luck was still with them. It was cloudy and the night air was filled with a strange fog. During their wait, they had taken turns in silent vigil sending their thoughts to Brenny’s delirious mind. As Eric had warned, she knew naught of what they were trying to do and her terrified mind looked at them as intruders intent on causing her more harm. Her mind was locked in some ghostly battle of life and death, of wanderings through the darkness searching for any sign of light. All that she would later remember was the mists, the dark and the glimpses of stars that she continued to reach for. At times she had a few seconds of some clarity and felt Eric’s hand reaching, touching her soul… She knew that she must will herself to reach back for him in order to end this nightmare.
Much later in the night, the men returned to grave and retrieved her body, now covered in dirt. They made sure to mound the dirt back up and replace all so that none would notice anything amiss. Eric had carried her lifeless form back to the campsite and waited for the life, the new life to enter her body and her soul. The other men made preparations to leave. They insisted it was not safe by any means to stay here. They must be on their way to safer ground before morning came.
As the dawn came, they just made it to the safety of one of those hidden caves. That was where Brenny awoke to her new life, surrounded by a group of worried Northern Vampyre Warriors. She opened her eyes to see this group of war hardened fighters kneeling around her, hands touching her softly and tears filling their eyes. One of them, an older hardened and vicious looking blonde man with a face full of faint scars and an ancient beard, smiled at her in sheer delight showing gaps in his teeth. “Well, will ya look at you now Lass, a bright and shining new life to this hard world we live in!” He patted her arm, then touched her frightened face. “Achhh Now’s no time for tears or fears. Ye’ve survived the worst of it, ye have. Now’s the time to breathe deep and let out a shout of joy for the world to hear! We’ve made it Girl, Ye’ve made it to the start of a new life!”
Though her brain was still thick with fog and she felt so weak she could not move, she could not help but smile at this frightening sight of a man who was kneeling so close to her that she could smell the blood ale on his breath. This man, Svein was the leader of the small band of warriors and he would forever be counted as friend to her after this harrowing ordeal.
Brenny looked from Svein up to the face of Eric who was cradling her in his arms staring down at her with his own tears falling on her. She lifted a hand up to touch his face. It took all her effort to manage that, and the words she whispered. “Thank you, Thank you my dearest friend, for life.”
It took her some time to recover and the group remained in their well secluded place until she was able to travel again. While she slept heavily, they made their decisions on where to go for their best safety and their future. They had decided that they would go together on to some new life. Though they were battle roughened warriors, they were all tired of the fights for now and wanted a life of more peace than would be around here for any time to come.
Eric made the decision for them all, though he did look to Svein for approval on it. If Svein was agreeable on it, the others would follow his lead. “We shall head north, as far north as we can… We will go home to our ancestral home and people that still wait there for us. We will go home to the isle of Skuy where we can feel the sea upon us, where we can rest safely away from these wars for a time and where we can feel our Northern ancestors call to us in greeting.”
Eric, Brenny and Svein’s small band of warriors left the battles and headed on a long journey to reclaim their heritage, their lives and their spirits. They would blend themselves into the place that called to them, that reminded the memories in their souls of a home long past, long gone and left.
In this isolated place, they built their new lives where few would question them, and they found those others still there as Eric had promised. Those of that Northern Vampyre blood, those of Fairie blood, and those of Witchly blood who had all retreated there to create their own safety.
There were still times of wars and battles for Scotland, to which Eric and the other men went off to and returned from. There were still sides to be taken, alliegances and alliances to to be kept but, it was a much quieter life than any of them had ever known previously and they rejoiced in it. There was quiet, time for all of them to heal from the wounds of their ancient pasts. All around them, there were ancient places that filled their souls with peace.
Those times were more difficult for Brenny to deal with than for the men. They would often leave for battles, for alliances or for trading purposes and their worlds changed little over the centuries other than slight variations on their names, their outward appearances. They were much used to changes and adapted to them well, fitting in as they needed. As Svein commented once, “War is war when ever ye’re fighting it. Makes not much difference to me how I make some small talk or wear me britches.”
For Brenny though, the centuries moved on and brought more restrictions on what she should, what she could do in life and still appear proper. She remained much isolated on the estate that they had built overlooking the ocean. Most of the time, she did not mind it for she could not fit in, nor did she want to with most of the women she met other than mayhaps the servants they employed. She did not care for the fuss and the lady like manners that women took on over the centuries as they drifted away from who they should be towards what they assumed men wanted to be. She watched on as women gave up their strength, their power willingly to men more and more.
Truth be told, as the centuries wore on, she became disenchanted and bored with this eternal life she had been gifted with. She wondered what truly was her purpose in it. Eric suggested that she needed to leave their home more often, travel out into the world again and find her purpose out there.
He knew she was having a difficult time of it, knew how the world was changing… in some ways for the better but not always, as in the case of those women who, he could not fathom why, were so willing to take their steps backwards and give in without battle to men. He often shook his head in some disgust over this and knew that it much to do with their ever increasing oppressing views on religion. He refused to enter into those arguements or debates, knowing full well that these humans as they lost more of their inner ablilities and mind powers gave more wealth and power to their churches. It was an ongoing war in itself that would most likely never end. His personal thought on the humans was that what they lost in abilities, they somehow thought they could make up for with sheer numbers. He had never seen such breeding of offspring other than in animals. That was his thought when he would see these families of such large numbers, of women giving birth every year and being so worn that they succombed to death early. Why… because the church told them it was their duty. It was their duty to proceate, to go forth and multiply their numbers despite the fact that they could seldom feed the ones they already had depending on them. He did not understand the reasoning of it… Vampyres rarely produced more than one or two offspring, Fairies much the same… the Witches, well they were more closely related to the humans and they did oft produce larger families. But, he knew for fact that most witchly women knew of how to prevent such happenings and made use of those things unless they were in such position to care for their large families.
So it went that after a time, Brenny did venture out from their isle more often but was not content with what she found elsewhere. Finally, Eric took her back to the shrouded Fairie glen where the wise women of her childhood still resided in their private sanctuary. He showed her how to lift the mists and the barriers surrounding it, and left her there to find her peace with them for a time. She wept tears of joy to be reunited with these wise ancient women who were the only Mother she had ever known.
They were as joyful to see her return to them even if it be for a short time. It was what she needed most, the companionship and the teachings of these women.