The present begins to meet the past
With Eric’s decision made, Brennie went about making arrangements for their trip to Dragon Valley. Over the centuries, Brennie had become quite adept as an organizer and planner. It was Brennie who generally kept things running smoothly for all of them now days. Even with her own hectic music career, she somehow managed to keep track of all of their varied schedules, their whereabouts and their personal matters as well. It was no easy task and they often wondered how she accomplished it. She had just laughed at the men and teased them that perhaps they would do well to take a few more computer classes. In truth, while the advent of the computer and internet did help out, it was more a matter of how Brennie’s mind had been trained in her earliest years. She had been trained in those more ancient times to memorize everything. In her early years as a Bard in training, she had learned to commit facts, stories, and music to memory in order to pass them down in that oral tradition. Now, after centuries of practice and the enhanced abilities of her vampyre blood, her mind worked much like a computer. Not that she always appreciated this ability… there were often times when she dearly wished for a delete key. Of course, she admitted and acknowledged that most of her fellow vampyres wished the same things after living so many life times. Even after all of this time, she still had trouble accepting some of the aspects of this vampyre life. Other than her music, she lived a much solitary life with few real friends and no romantic notions or interests. She considered Eric and Svein her family, and her one true friend was the one they were off to search for. She had met Judith a few years earlier and for some reason, they had been drawn to each other. Judith was a human, but a human with an open heart, and an ever curious and open mind. On some level, they thought much the same. Judith was a kindred spirit.
The only time that Brennie’s and Judith’s friendship had ever slightly wavered was when Judith met Eric. Brennie had been with Eric for centuries and though she had come to the acceptance of him as family, there were still those lingering feelings of something more. She knew full well that it would never be for them, but could not help the occasional snaps of jealousy when he would be involved with some one- even casually. He had understood that and usually took great care not to flaunt his relationships in her face. His affairs had always been short lived and not of much consequence… until Judith. The attraction between them had been immediate and intense. It was as Eric described, a meeting of souls. When he had put it that way, Brennie knew that there was much more between these two than just a casual affair on both their parts. She had been heart broken for a time over it. Her hurt had been more due to having to finally admit to herself that fact that she already knew rationally. She had always held a faint shred of silent whispered, wishful thinking that perhaps one day something would change in their circumstances and Eric would look upon her again as he once had all those centuries ago.
For a while, she had kept her distance from both of them, pretended to be too busy to see either, pretended not to care. She threw herself into her work, into a public party lifestyle- which had never been her way before. Eric knew what was going on, but did not confront her with it, rather left her to work it out on her own.
Svein, for all of his gruffness and old world ways had seen her hurt and went out of his way to comfort her. He looked on her as a daughter and could not bear to see her hurting. Svein had been the one to take her aside and lecture her, as any Father might have done in the past ages. His words had been stern but his feelings shown through as he harshly reminded her of their ancient ways and of those things she should know by now. “Ya knew from the start that he was not for you, Lass. All of your pining through the years will naught change that. It only hurts you and him more when ye do it.” He reprimanded her on her behaviors of that time. “So, ye think that ignoring such a fine friend as Judith has been to ye is going to change anything? Or ye think that getting blind, stupid drunk with the likes of those scum who hang on to your coat tails just for the money and their name in a rag paper is goin to make it better, make ye forget? Well, ya know Damn well it’s not. All it’s doin is makin ye feel worse and bringin down yer fine name!”
Svein had sat and hugged her close as he admonished her and then whispered to her, “Yer a fine girl, Brennie, yer just not the one for him. Someday, ye will find your own soul mate.” He whiped a tear from her face and added, “But, in order to find him, ye have to quit yer pining over one ye can naught have and quit hiding yerself away. Ye did it once before, it dinna work then and it will naught work now. Go on then have yer cry and get it all out, then go to yer friends and wish them well on their journey through this life.” As she had struggled to agree with him, he added softly, “They be needin all the well wishes they can get cause it will naught be an easy journey for them.”
After that she had went to Judith to apologize and to explain her difficulties in accepting the relationship. Judith had her own apologies to make. She admitted that Eric had told her of his past with Brennie and she felt her own pangs of resentment and jealousy. Judith explained to Brennie that she felt guilty for feeling such resentment and insecurity over the relationship that Brennie and Eric had shared for so long. They spent a long night together with a few bottles of wine working through this odd sort of triangle between themselves. Judith shared some her deepest thoughts on the situation with Brennie. She was scared to death of this relationship, these feelings she had for Eric and she wondered if it could truly work, if it was really as he insisted, a destiny of souls. Although she was human and didn’t seem to have any traces of ancient blood or abilities, Judith did have one slight gift. She had strange dreams, some were of distant and vague pasts, some occasionally were of premonitions or like deja vue…
Judith shared with Brennie her dreams of some pasts where Eric had been in her life in some way. Those dreams had come even before she knew Eric. She had experienced them from her early childhood and often wondered who that strange man was that always showed up in her dreams. When Eric had come into the public eye, she thought that she was just transferring her dream images on to him out of some pathetic sort of fan crush. Now, of course she was not so sure. She was bewildered and little frightened of admitting to herself that this was truly real. Judith was a believer in reincarnation, of souls meeting and uniting over and over again. While she firmly believed in it as a concept and a theory, it was another thing entirely to experience it first hand. It was much like the whole reality of the ancient bloodlines such as witches, fairies and vampyres. When faced with the actual facts and the reality of them, it shook people’s beliefs to their very cores. With the reappearance of these ancient ones and the coming acceptance of them, the world was changing quickly and it was often difficult to adjust to those changes on a global level, or on a highly personal level. Judith was experiencing all of this and while she was excited about it, it also left her uneasy and fearful of another unknown future.
When Judith shared all of this with her friend, Brennie understood well what she was talking about. The world was changing quickly and she was not sure she was ready for it either. They had resolved to somehow stick together through all of it and their friendship had deepened because of it.
Now, Judith was quite possibly in grave danger and Brennie was determined to go to any lengths to find her. Brennie, like Svein, had not so sure or positive about this assignment which Judith had volunteered for. For the most important reason of it being in Dragon Valley at Haunts Castle… that should have been reason enough. That place was unstable as it was. It had always been a strange place of unnatural and strange shifts in the atmosphere. Some said it had to do with electrical and magnetic fields running through it. She knew that had something to do with the oddities of the area. But, she also knew that there were other factors there as well. There were places there that the mists and fogs acted like blankets or curtains through time and space. The Fairies had made much use of them so many centuries ago to cloak themselves into an entirely separate world. When people spoke of the Fairies disappearing and going to ground, they were right in some way. Until quite recently, the Fairies had chosen to remain hidden behind those veils in certain areas where they could be controlled. In fact, until just the most recent months, much of Dragon Valley had remained within those veils. Parts of the Valley such as Haunts Castle would seem to appear and disappear randomly from the fogs that surrounded the Valley. It was getting more and more unstable and no one was completely sure what was causing it.
It was now also shrouded in secracy by the Higher Council. They had deemed it off limits to anyone not directly involved in the ongoing research of the area. There were rumors of other Castles and such now appearing where there had been none before. Many speculated that it all had something to do with the Global warming and Climate Changes going on. The changes were affecting numerous places. Changes in sea levels and ongoing droughts were causing a great many ancient discoveries to appear. Brennie knew that Eric knew far more about what was going on in Dragon Valley than he would share with her. When she tried to press him for answers, he always avoided it and said it did not involve them and he would like to keep it that way. She could not read his thoughts on it, he kept them well locked away from her prying much to her annoyance and frustration. Even Svein seemed to know more than he would share. At one point she had went so far as to cloak herself and stand in the hall to eavesdrop on conversation between the two men. To her disgust, it hadn’t worked well and they sensed her quickly. She had heard a short bit of the discussion though. Svein was angry and accusing Eric of dragging them all back into a battle that was none of their concern. They were done with those dealings of the Council and should be well glad of it. Eric had replied that they could not just walk away that easily. They were still part of it and must answer to them when called upon to do so. It was then that they had sensed her presance and quickly shut off their thoughts from her.