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The Account of Mirelda Martikova

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The Account of Mirelda Martikova

Post  Saoirse on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:34 pm

You fear the night, so run and hide,
you weak willed dogs, I so despise!
Your wooden walls cannot protect
from blackest heart and certain death.

True evil lies in wait so near…
It is not the dark but Mists I fear!


***

The pallid yellow moon had risen high over the trees of the Svalich Woods looming in the distance, illuminating the white-plastered houses of the small village. All of the prudent citizens had shut and barred their doors as soon as night fell, but one of the less prudent wandered over the slick, wet cobblestones. It was spring here in Barovia, and the air was oppressively thick with moisture, but that was hardly unusual. The Season of Mists they called it. Ridiculous…The Mists didn’t have a season. They didn’t need a season! This land belonged to those devilish vapors as much if not more than it belonged to the devil, Strahd himself!

The lithe woman flitted between shadows, her dark cloak and armor swallowing the little moonlight that was able to reach her. She appeared anxious. Restlessly glancing at the full moon every few seconds, she fingered the hilt of the sword at her side as she walked on with no particular destination in no particular direction. She simply needed to keep moving.

Soft footfalls from behind alerted that she was not alone. Any sane person would have started running, especially on the night of a full moon, but she maintained her pace. Slowly drawing her sword, she held the wide flat of the blade up in front of her face to see the reflection of whatever was approaching from behind.

In the light of the full moon, she could see a man in a hooded gray cloak standing next to one of the dwellings behind her. Seemingly unarmed, but that hardly meant anything in this place, he watched her, perhaps hesitantly now that she had a weapon drawn. Good. Without notice, she hurled the blade high into the air, drawing the man’s attention to the spinning steel, but she didn’t end the motion there. Two daggers appeared in her hands and she twisted around, arcing the weapons over her shoulders as she flung them in rapid succession toward the distracted stalker, pinning his cloak against the wooden wall before the sword finished its flight and fell back into its owner’s grip.

Slowly the blade began whirling in front of her body. She brought her left hand up to meet the right at the hilt of the weapon, and then the sword split into two. They spun in ever accelerating circles to form a shell of steel around her form, and she confidently approached her would-be-assailant.

“Who are you,” she demanded, “and why do you follow me?” Her voice rasped from her throat, as if it had been recently strained from screams or crying, or both.

The gray man tried to lift his arms to remove his hood, but with his cloak stapled to the wall of the house behind him, he simply couldn’t reach that high. “I am Donovan Berght, and I was hoping to speak with you.” There was no waiver in his speech and he met her eyes with resolve.

“The priest…” She muttered under her breath, both impressed and annoyed by his lack fear. Though she had never met him personally before, everyone knew that Donovan had been battling the evil in this region for decades, and while she hardly held faith in any of the ‘gods’, she could not deny the bravery of this man, which outshone that of all his Barovian brethren. The woman stopped the whirling blades, but did not sheath her weapons as she approached him. “What do you want with me?”

“You are Mirelda, are you not? Bray’s daughter? He’s been missing for two days now and…”

“And what!” She spat. “And you believe that I had something to do with it because of what I am?! You think I would kill my own father??” Mirelda reconnected her two blades then and slid them silently into the sheath. As she wrapped her hands around the hilts of the daggers buried deep through cloak and wood, she leaned in closely to the old priest and whispered in his ear. “Yes… I am his daughter, though I think he would not look kindly upon you for saying so quite that loudly.”

“Go home, priest,” she hissed, violently jerking the daggers from the wall, “there are dangerous things lurking about in the darkness.” Her brooding gaze drove home the thinly veiled threat, and with a flourish of her cloak she turned and began to stalk away.

“Wait… Please! Just tell me if he still lives!”

Mirelda stopped and lowered her cowled head. The man was sure he saw her shoulders slump at the question. “I don’t know,” she whispered in a melancholy voice, her back still turned to him. “I do not think so, but I don’t know…”

Donovan stepped up in front of her, though keeping what he hoped was a safe enough distance. “Come back to the temple,” he suggested, “I have some food, some weak wine and a dry place to sleep. When you’re rested I’d like to hear your tale.” Mirelda hesitated as if in consideration, so he continued. “I try to keep records of the accounts of those who disappear from the village. Perhaps one day it might help to expose the machinations of evil within our land.”

The woman looked at the priest incredulously, then burst out laughing, caring little that she was probably frightening the villagers in the surrounding houses, with her cackle. Rule number one in Barovia. Bar your windows and doors at night. Rule number two. Ignore any strange noises in the darkness. Rule number three. Keep your holy symbol close… She was quite certain no one would come out of their homes to see what all the ruckus was about.

“I hardly think my story would be helpful in that regard, but some wine would be welcome this night,” she said with another glance at the moon. “Lead on, priest.”

The pair moved quickly through the streets until they reached the sagging gray sanctuary of stone and wood. The spirits had already risen from the graveyard behind the temple, beginning their slow procession up the road to Castle Ravenloft, the place where each of the failed adventurers met a grim fate attempting to destroy the Count. The apparitions paid them no mind as they passed, simply continuing their nightly march that marked the midnight hour. Once inside, Donovan went immediately to his nightly prayers after providing Mirelda with some food and drink. He prayed fervently, knowing that it was only through his faith and dedication that this temple continued to be a place of sanctity in Barovia.

The interior of the building was in complete disarray. Benches were overturned and shattered over the dusty floor, and the altar itself was scarred with claw marks. Old damage. Mirelda guessed that it had been repaired so often throughout the years, that Donovan had just decided to let it lie. He was true to his word though. It was dry.

The last two nights she had spent wandering under the moon, and the days, trying to catch a few hours of sleep before being kicked awake and told to move along. With her father, the innkeeper gone, the Blood of the Vine Tavern was no longer a welcome place for one of her mixed blood, but she wouldn’t have been able to abide the accusatory glances she would have received from the patrons anyway. The diluted wine managed to do its work, and exhausted woman passed out quickly, slumped against the stone wall until well past dawn.

The priest was breaking a loaf of day old bread at a small table in the corner of the room when Mirelda painfully lifted an eyelid to measure the amount of sunlight streaming through the holes in the dilapidated ceiling. A low groan accompanied the clatter of the empty bottle that fell from her lap as she slowly rose to her feet.

Donovan smiled a good morning in her direction. Wisely, he remained silent, and only pushed a hunk of bread over to the raven-haired woman as she pulled back the chair opposite him, wincing as it loudly scraped across the stone floor.

“We yet live,” she said, managing to croak out her greeting. “Thank you for the lodging, sir. And the bread, but I’m afraid I cannot thank you for that wine…” Mirelda pushed her thumb and forefinger against her eyelids. When she pulled her hand back, her dark eyes fluttered open and she smiled at the man before tearing off a portion of the bread. “It seems that I am in your debt.”

“I only have the same request that I made to you last night.” Donovan returned her smile, glad that she wasn’t flinging weapons in his direction this morning! “I would like to hear your tale of what may have happened to your father, and perhaps,” he hesitated, “perhaps you could tell me a bit of what brought you here. Not many come to our village, and you’ve only been here for what? A year? You must have a story to share!”

Mirelda studied the man for some time while she chewed her breakfast. No one had ever asked nor cared about where she came from, believing the myths that they had all heard of the ‘treacherous’ vistani, and deciding that it was safer simply not to know. “I have a few stories yes, and because of your kindness, I will grant your request.”

“I am not of the Zarovan tribe as most of the vistani in Barovia are, but my mother is of the Naiat. We…they…are performers of many varied talents. Before the fog surrounded the village, my tribe would bring their carnival here, and that is where my parents met. It was shortly thereafter that the poisonous mist descended here barring passage, or more correctly, escape. After that they decided to go elsewhere.”

“It is…unusual for a giomorgo, a half-vistana, to be brought up among the people, but my mother has a kind heart and since my only other family was imprisoned in this tiny village, she took pity on me.”

Mirelda sat back in her chair, and pulled off her shoulder what appeared to be an instrument case. She sat it gently in her lap before continuing.

“My childhood passed like most others among our clan, and I was involved in many of the activities of my full-blooded kin. I was never welcome to the Lunati ceremonies of course, nor was I allowed to perform the prastonata, the evening dance in which their stories are told, but I was encouraged to practice my skills among the giorgios. Those not of the blood,” she tilted her head slightly to Donovan as she explained the terminology.

“I was only a small child when I first learned the dance, though I was never taught. My half sister Sofya is very skilled, and I would watch her practice every day. I was forbidden from telling the tales of the Vistani through those dances. It was a corruption they told me. I would never be able to invoke the true mesmerizing effect as could one of the blood.”

“As I grew, I learned many skills to ply among the giorgio, to bring money to the family. My elder cousin Fyodor is a juggler of swords, among other weapons, and he graciously taught me his trade in spite of my heritage. He is of the blood, but could sympathize with my plight. He has a giomorgo daughter of his own whom he secretly sees but once a year in Kartakass, and though he had the opportunity to take her to live among us, he has told me that he wouldn’t have wanted her to live the life of an outcast. The life that I lead. Among the giorgio it is a simple thing for the giomorgo to disguise themselves and blend in. However, such disguises could never fool a vistana, who would recognize us on sight for exactly what we are.”

“Though I still longed to dance, I was able to find some solace in this new talent, and through the coin I would bring in, prove myself somewhat useful to my family. Eventually I also learned sword swallowing and throwing daggers, becoming skilled enough to hit targets blindfolded. As you were witness to last evening,” she said, the corner of her mouth turned up in a half-smile. “I do apologize, but it is unwise to follow behind someone without making your presence known.”

Mirelda bit into another chunk of stale bread and continued the tale. “Every evening I would watch Sofya dance around the flames, and curse the gods for giving me this desire but not the birthright to see it fulfilled. Fyodor, upon my 15th birthday, gifted me with a set of butterfly swords he traded for from the Kamii tribe. It was with these blades,” she said, patting the sheath at her side, “that I began practicing spin techniques and other displays that would impress the giorgios.”

“Once every spring our vardos would cross paths with our sister clan in the realm of Mordent. It was on these rare occasions that I grew to know Vasile.”

Something about the way she softly breathed the word made Donovan wonder if the name had ever left her lips aloud in this past year. An agonizing sadness was poorly hidden behind her eyes, the intensity of which caused the priest to lower his gaze and begin mindlessly picking crumbs off of his bread as she spoke.

“I was young, only sixteen, when I first took notice of him, but he was younger than I by a year, and perhaps it was because of his naivety that he could see past my diluted blood. During the five evenings our two families would share together, he would play the violin during the prastonata. My older half-sister would always serve as prastona, the dancer, during these meetings. Sofya is beautiful by every standard, a truly gifted dancer, and best of all, she is of the blood. It would bring shame upon my family if I were to attempt to dance to entertain their brethren. My skills are good enough for giorgio, but never for vistani. How I wished Vasile could play to my dancing!” Mirelda sighed and brushed her fingers gently along the instrument case in her lap.

“Two years passed in this manner. Children among my mother’s people are few, and it wasn’t often that I would meet a young man nearly my own age. It was not for this reason though that I found myself in love with Vasile Marinescu. He was kind to me, and looked past the giomorgo to see the truth of the Blood that ran through my veins. While there was precious little time to spend together, we made the most of the stolen moments, and in the spring of my nineteenth year I approached my mother about striking a marriage agreement with his family. As I look back on it now, I realize my arrogance in what I was asking. To marry a vistana would mean that he and his property would pass to my family. In doing so, I would eventually become matriarch of my own family, and no giomorgo would ever be allowed that privilege. My mother was mortified by my suggestion, and tried her best to whip the amorous thoughts from my mind.”

“I used to think she was being cruel in doing so,” she said quietly, “but now I see that she was trying to save me from the path I had been set upon. Fate had drawn The Charlatan on my behalf, and I was too blinded by pride and youthful love to see it at the time.”

“The next day I went again to meet Vasile, and to my dismay, he would not even turn his gaze to meet mine. It was as if I had never existed in his mind. He said he would not speak with me, and turned away in what I thought was anger. Realizing that my mother must have spoken to his clan, I stormed to her vardo in a rage, but found no one within. She had gone out with my sister to collect wood for the evening fire.”

“I was desperate to win back the love of my Vasile, and in that desperation I committed one of the most reprehensible acts a vistana could carry out…stealing from one’s own blood. I took the silver charm from my mother’s jewelry chest without hesitation. It was a pendant with the image of a blazing fire stamped upon it. She sold these love charms to the giorgio, and occasionally would tell them how they worked if they agreed to pay extra for the information. Using a dagger I sliced my thumb enough to squeeze out a few drops of blood to fill the grooves of the pendant, and took off in a sprint to the Marinescu vardo. He would not speak with me, of that I was certain, but if I could get close enough to slip the charm into his pocket, perhaps the magic would work. We had three more days before it would be time to break camp and go our separate ways again...”

“A melancholy tune drew me to my love, and as I approached, he set down his violin and clasped his hands together in front of his chest, indicating his desire to be alone. Honoring his wish, I passed by him, and with deftness born of desperation; I slipped the trinket into his pocket without his knowledge. Without his knowledge…” Mirelda ran a hand through her tousled black hair and shut her eyes as if mentally berating herself for that moment of idiocy that would change her life.

“His uncle Grigori, an elderly fellow with dark, weasel eyes noticed my slight of hand, and leaping from his work, grabbed my shoulder as if I was a mangy cur caught stealing the baked hedgehog! He dragged me over to his nephew and pulled the bloodied love token from Vasile’s pocket. After realizing what had happened, Vasile lifted his liquid brown eyes to meet mine, and I saw in them the truth. He did love me, but now, because of what I had done, he saw me for what I was. Giomorgo. Not of the blood. To be with me would taint the bloodlines, and that would never be permitted, nor desired. Mayhem followed, and my love said nothing, but trailed behind sadly as the old man pulled me roughly back to my family’s camp. I was dumped unceremoniously at the foot of Papusza, our raunie…the female leader of our caravan.”

Dark eyes lost their focus as she replayed that critical moment in her mind, and Donovan remained silent, not wanting to interrupt the reverie.

“This half-blood dog was found attempting to steal my nephew’s heart! Such an insult to my family must be atoned for!” Vasile’s uncle spat down at her while addressing the raunie. Without so much a glance in her direction, she shouted to the camp. “Who will represent the accused?” Painful moments passed as the silence lingered. It was her mother who finally stepped forward. “I, Rozalina Czeryenko will represent Mirelda.” The fact that she omitted the surname was not lost on the girl, and it stung nearly as much as what was to follow. When her mother saw the pendant held loosely in Grigori’s hand, she gasped softly and her olive skin turned ashen.

“I, Grigori Marinescu will represent my nephew, Vasile Marinescu.” Pain tightened the young man’s jaw as his uncle spoke. Vasile did not want to accuse her, but the situation had become impossible, and the vishnadd was immanent.

The raunie drew her black dagger, and taking Mirelda’s hand, pushed its razor sharp tip deep into her palm. Papusza’s eyes rolled back into her head and in her trance, she spoke the words the girl dreaded, but knew were coming. “If you lie, I will know it, and summary punishment shall fall upon you.” Mongrel blood flowed from the wound she was creating, but Mirelda would not give the onlookers the satisfaction of hearing her cry out. Instead the pain only fueled her rage, as Papusza began the questions. “You desired to turn Vasile’s affections upon yourself with a stolen pendant. Are these charges true or false? Speak.”

“True.” She should have stopped with that word, but her anger got the better of her. “I was afraid that his heart had been turned away from me, but I was wrong! I see now that he loves me as he ever did!”

“SILENCE,” screamed the raunie. She continued, trance unbroken. “You wish for him to be wed to you though you are not of the blood. True or false? Speak.”

The young man’s head hung in more shame than sorrow, and Mirelda’s heart splintered.

“True…” she whispered as sadness replaced her former rage. She was a fool for believing it possible. A fool for thinking that what she was could somehow be overcome by merely wising it could be so!

“Mirelda Czeryenko, you have lived among us all of your life, more than any giorgio can claim, and yet you have spurned our generosity, stolen from us, and spat upon our traditions this day. You believe that because you’ve grown up with the Vistani that you should be treated as Vistana. Well so you shall! Your punishment will fit your crimes as if you were of the blood. You will be transported to the realm of Barovia, where you shall suffer the karash and no longer know the freedom you’ve so ignorantly cast aside. You will become mortu. Stagnant. Neither dead nor alive, pitied and hated by both of your peoples. Furthermore, so that you may never forget your love for whom you have risked everything for, you shall wear a brand that will be with you all of your days. A scar on your flesh to match the one in your heart. May fate grant you long life with much suffering!”

Papusza emerged from her trance and removed the blade from Mirelda’s wounded hand. Taking the pendant from Grigori, she held it over the fire until it glowed angrily. She ripped open the girl’s blouse and pressed the searing metal to the skin over her heart, and the agony was such that this time, she wasn’t able to stifle the scream. Humiliated, she covered herself with the torn blouse and bent forward, resting her face in the dirt.

Donovan cleared his throat after the silence grew uncomfortably long, and the woman was pulled back to the present. She found her hand resting above the old scar hidden beneath the dark leather and dropped it back to the case in her lap.

“I…am sorry.” She reached for the mug of water that he had poured for her and took a long swallow. “Where was I?”

“At the feet of Papuza,” the priest answered, trying not to sound too eager for her to continue.

“Yes… I was…tried, in the manner of the vistani. Tried and found guilty of the crimes of theft and attempting to live a normal life with my inferior blood. The sentence was to be trapped in this place, live here among a people I had never known.” Mirelda opted to leave out the bit about the branding.

“My mother turned her back on me then as did the rest of what was once my family. We broke camp that evening, three days early, and headed into the mists. I knew I would never see Vasile again, for his family never traveled to Barovia, and to leave them to be with me, would be to suffer the karash himself.” She sighed softly before adding, “A punishment that would drive a true vistana mad with grief.”

“When we arrived in Barovia, my mother took me to the edge of the poisonous vapors that surrounds this village. Of course I knew, that once I breathed in that fog, I would never be able to set foot outside of it again! She removed a case that had been slung over her shoulder and handed it to me. Vasile had given her his violin to give to me as a token to remember him by. ‘A kinder memory than the one that rests over your heart,’ he had said.”

She shook her head, realizing that Donovan wouldn’t understand what that meant. “I bear a mark,” she touched the place over her heart, as she tried to explain. “A mark that carries with it a curse. Part of the punishment for my crimes.” Mirelda’s gaze dropped to the black case in her lap and she pulled it close to her lovingly. “Papuza’s curse brings me visions. Delusions of seeing Vasile’s face in a crowd as I perform, or turning into an ally… It is just enough to allow me a glimpse of my love before he disappears, so I will never forget. A cruel hand I have been dealt, but I was the one who drew the cards. It was my own fault for forgetting what I am.”

The woman was quiet again for a moment before she looked into Donovan’s eyes and continued.

“My mother told me only my father’s name, and sent me into the fog with her final words. ‘You will never see me again, giorgio.’ Without even a glance behind, she walked back through the forest to her caravan.”

“And that is how I came to be…here,” she lifted a hand, motioning to the crumbling structure they were sitting within.

The pair was quiet for a long time before Donovan broke the silence. “I am sorry for your past… If you’ll forgive me, I would like to press you further and ask now what happened to your father? Why is he missing?”

Mirelda flashed him a dangerous glare, but her face softened when she saw no accusation in the man’s eyes.

“Do not feel sorry for me, priest. As I’ve said, my own regretful actions have brought me to this state. Now,” she began again after taking another sip of water, “about my father…”

Donovan could tell that it was with marked difficulty that she was speaking of this matter. Something had terrified this young woman.

“Two…three mornings ago now, Bray and I, he doesn’t like me to call him father,” she explained, “we were fishing at the river. We had caught a number of respectably-sized fish to take back to the inn to throw in the evening’s stew, and were heading back home when a fog bank rolled in.”

The priest’s breath whistled as he inhaled sharply, anticipating the horror of what may come. Everyone seemed to have heard of someone who had known someone who had been taken by the Mists. Taken or worse… Donovan wondered if this woman had seen something firsthand!

“It is springtime,” Mirelda went on carefully,” and as you know fogs are common this time of year more than any other, so we approached, albeit warily. It was so strange. Even after these days I am unable to sort it out in my head what exactly happened. What I was seeing and hearing makes no sense to me.”

She blinked up to meet the priest’s eyes. “I heard Vasile. Heard him mind you, I had not just seen him with my eyes as the previous glimpses of him! I heard him calling my name. I even saw the form of him there within the fog! He had come for me after all! He had forgiven me my transgressions! But something wasn’t right… His voice echoed strangely, and there was no warmth in it. The words I heard were enticing, but the tone was cold and…hungry. I had been about to enter the mist, when I came to my senses and backed off. When I turned to look for my father to warn him, he was simply gone!”

A trembling had started in her hands as she recounted the tale, and she rested them flat against the violin case to keep them steady as she continued. “I don’t know what happened then. After I realized Bray was no longer at my side, I felt…confused and strangely lost all of a sudden. I don’t know how long I wandered for, but when I returned to my senses, I found myself back at the exact spot where I had just lost my father.”

“This time…I saw him…”

Mirelda visibly shuddered and pulled a charm from around her neck and kissed it. “I fear that for all of my life I will not forget the image of him standing there, partially within the Mists. It looked like he was…dancing. His arms were outstretched as if holding a woman. I tried to call out to him, but I don’t believe he could hear me, so deeply he was transfixed. As he spun, I heard him whisper, ‘Roza…,” before his lips and the flesh of his face started dripping from his body as if he was melting!”

“My mother’s name is Rozalina…”

Pure horror was reflected in Mirelda’s eyes at this point, and even Donovan found that his heart had begun hastening its rhythm.

“The pain of it must have brought him to awareness, and blood curdling screams began to issue from his fleshless mouth! I was frozen in fear, I am ashamed to say, but I had no fire with me. No fire to drive back the fog! I shouted to him, but he was delirious with shock and ran shrieking, deeper into the Mists, where the screams stopped abruptly… I waited, calling his name until the fog cleared… When it did, I could find no evidence that he was ever there… No body. No bones. No stains of liquefied flesh upon the ground…”

The woman’s horror turned to anger and bitter sarcasm dripped from her voice. “What was I to do? Was it all a dream? The only evidence that something had happened was his mysterious absence! Of course the others at the tavern would assume that I was responsible for his missing! I am half vistani after all, and everyone knows the atrocities those people are capable of!”

Mirelda calmed herself then and sat back in the chair as a shroud of contemplation descended over her features.

“You know, it is as if the Mists feed on sorrow and suffering. Perhaps that is why the Vistani have been allowed the secret to safely, in most cases, travel through the fog. They are a people searching for a home that they will never find, so the Mists part for them, for to hedge them in would be to force them to live as the giorgio and create a place for themselves. Many, if not all vistani would go mad and likely die from the Mist-imposed mortu. There would be much suffering, but only for a short time. To let my kin travel is to allow the suffering to last indefinitely. Every night they mourn for a home that they have never known, nor will ever reach! It is a perpetual suffering that the Mist seeks for them! Perhaps for me as well…,” she whispered. “Not even I with my mongrel blood can escape the curse that comes with it! I was forced from a family that tolerated me, to live among people who despise me. That is my suffering.”

“Then I met Bray, my father, who after some time, grew to be somewhat fond of me, in spite of himself. Life was tolerable for a time and the Mists could not abide that! Perhaps THAT was why he was taken! Perhaps he lives still. Perhaps he will come back to haunt me as some stories tell. Either way, I find myself alone again, with no family. No home.”

Speechless, Donovan watched as the dark woman clenched her fist until her knuckles turned white. “I should leave, before the Mists decide to repay you for the kindness you’ve shown me.”

She stood and slung the violin case back over her shoulder. “If you have need of me, I won’t be hard to find. I cannot go far as you well know.”

“You are welcome here, Mirelda,” the priest said as he wrapped the remainder of the loaf of bread in some cloth and handed it to her. “If ever you need shelter or food, or just to hear a friendly voice, you are welcome.”

Her eyes rested on him for some moments before she took the food, raising it slightly and nodding her head in thanks. With no parting words she turned and left the temple.

***
In the months that followed, Donovan would occasionally see the half vistani woman entertaining villagers on the street corners with her own version of the prastonata. It was a more violent and lethal dance than the one she had been forbidden to perform, but with her blades flashing and spinning about her body, it was no less mesmerizing.

Mirelda never stayed another night at the temple. The priest suspected however, that she would visit to place a small pouch of coins on the altar every other week.

In spite of everything that had been taken from her, she was still able to give to those few souls who had the capacity to show kindness to an outcast. It was with the funds she provided, that Donovan began once again to repair the neglected building. He knew it would not last. It never did, but her own tenacity in the face of such hopelessness inspired the priest to press on with his own efforts. Keeping the darkness at bay one evening at a time.

It was a small kindness he had shown her. A small kindness that she had returned. In Barovia however, even the smallest fragment of good was of momentous importance.

***

Here I subsist where Devils dwell,
imprisoned in this cursed hell
of fog and filth and hateful shouts,
bearing scars within and scars without.

Freedom that I’d always known
deserts me to this dreary home,
where now I wait…
with sharpened blades and faith in Fate.
Not for long shall I dwell within
the poisonous curtain that holds my kin.

Whether by death or by release,
I cannot but hope that I find peace
within your arms. My one desire!
Upon my breast there burns a fire!

Though Fate itself keeps us apart,
I can never forget my love, my heart.
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Saoirse

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