**The city-manor of House Ancien, it is considered one of the more spooky and beautiful residences within the city. A wrought-iron gate surrounds the grounds boundaries, the very center bearing a black swan, Ancien’s royale crest. A long graveled drive leads up to the house proper, which is big enough for multiple carriages. Old Country in the truest sense, the grounds and lawn are encompassed by lovely gardens of Shadow Nettle and Silver Poppy, lighting the area with a gorgeous purple-silver glow. Black Elder trees are dotted throughout the lawn; their grasping leafless arms reach out over the air like gnarled old fingers. The manor house is a façade of every different type of style you could think of, a classical arcade decorates the front walls and each subsequent side changes from era to era until the very back is purely of ancient design, the oldest architecture from the Monarchy. The front hall, and foyer are currently empty, except for a portrait of a very grand and elegant lady that hangs at the end of the hall. Somehow you know your admittance has not gone unnoticed.**
How I've missed you. Although it's only been months, it feels as if already, years have passed us by,
and we've lost so much time together; I long to hear your sweet voice, to feel your tender and gentle
softness once more against the caress of my skin. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your
last letter, I fear in my journey that I lost sight of the end goal. I mean, do any of us ever truly know
who are? My father was an adventureous man, but I know little, if next to nothing of my birth place.
Sylvan has been my surrogate home, and you like the sister I never had, but if ever I thought there was
something more, something else out there, then leaving was my only chance to find out what that something
might be. Whatever I am, I most certainly am my father's daughter, and I remain unsatisfied in my journey.
I know she's out there, but it will take more time until we are to finally meet. But my wanderlust aside,
look at me! Still going on about myself! You mentioned a certain someone? Do I know her? I should be arriving into
port soon, we simply must catch up! I assume your aunt has a little something to do with this Carnivale?
This garish invitation I've received doesn't seem her style, but the Lords of Sylvan never cease on the chance for show.
You'll have to fill me in! Alas, I'm running low on ink, my dear, I must leave it here for now. But there is something
that will serve to end this epistle, my endless travells and nights aboard this dreadful vessel have left me little else
but time to occupy my thoughts, that, and the weather to accompany them. This is for you, my darling...
"There is eloquence in the tongueless wind,
and a melody in the flowing brooks and the rustling of the reeds
beside them, which by their inconceivable relation to something
within the soul, awaken the spirits to a dance of breathless rapture,
and bring tears of mysterious tenderness to the eyes, like the enthusiasm
of patriotic success, or the voice of one beloved singing to you alone."
My thoughts are as boundless as the sea,
their love as deep, the more I give to thee,
the more I have, for both are infinite.
**Amorous noises fill the air along with the sounds of furious, labored breathing. Very suddenly a long orgiastic moan pierces the shadowed bedchamber. Ecstasy is followed by Calm. Silence settles in. There are hushed voices, and girlish laughter. A passionate kiss follows.**
**Sometime after. A flame brightens in the darkness, a cigarette is lit. Haze begins to fill the room. There is a lovely woman rising from her curtained bed, her naked body is covered in goose prickles from head to foot from the cool air of the chamber. Behind multiple curtains a second woman lies. Fiery red, where the first was golden, she is fast asleep. The golden lady kisses her softly, first on the lips, then on the chin, and down her neck, on the nipples and between both breasts, each softly answered with a tender moan, until finally she reaches lower . . .**
Sef - Wake up, you irresistibly delicious strumpet. We must away, before my aunt drags us both to the festival naked and without warning.
Jeun - And what would be wrong with that? You worry too much. Come back to bed.
**Sefirat hit the red-haired vampiress with a pillow.**
Sef - Yes, you're right. It might be worth it, if only to see the dreadfully shocked faces of all the nobility. And I worry enough for the both of us, thank you. Since you're either too lazy or too indifferent to be bothered with things like simple responsibility. Come, it's not every season a lady such as myself is introduced to Sylvan Society. I promise, we'll make it such a scandalous affair they'll be talking about it for decades.
A woman with a few years behind her approached the beautiful and spooky House Ancien. Her parasol clicked against the cobblestones below as she drew level with wrought iron gates. She nodded to her kindirin companion gesturing towards the gets with her free hand.
Heinrich - I see your point, though I'd be surprised to hear of someone stopping by most places in Sylvan for trivial things. I'd think that'd be a good way to go missing quick, like taking a wrong turn on an Elexian street.
Heinrich walked forwards as well, doing his best to not seem nervous, which he wasn't. The man took a moment to polish and adjust his glasses as they got closer to the manor.
**Their wait was perhaps an eternity, as though it seemed like the great house were deserted, but after sometime the doors finally opened. Standing before Lady Cassandra and Heinrich was a man whose looming presence was the very epitome of implacable. His entire body looked as though it were chiseled from a mountainside, so solid was his demeanor that he might very well have been a statue standing at the threshold of the doorway. His features were perpetually serious, his eyes looked as if they had seen much in their time, and would like very much to forget all they had seen; his mouth was stern and his face stoic, but still, he was perhaps the handsomest individual either of them had ever seen. When he spoke, his voice gravelly and deep, was the height of equanimity.**
**The front hall was large and airy, its interior handsome and impeccably decorated, panels of crème with light touches of gilted gold outlines ran along the beamwork. A number of portraits were hung throughout of various personages, though what significance they held was impossible to glean. The atmosphere was surprisingly comforting.**
Marcus - Ah, you must be Lord Clermont's relation. The pleasure is mine, madame. I am Marcus de Auvergne, and I welcome you both to Ancien House. What is it we may do for you?
Marcus - Mmmhm, I see. I'm afraid the Countess has been called away tonight on some urgent business in the country. But please, follow me, maybe your endeavors won't have been for naught.
**Marcus turned, expectant that the two would follow, the man lead them from the hall into a deeper part of the great house; into a large salon filled with many finely upholstered, comfortable looking divans, setees or sofas, all currently occupied by a number of individuals reclined in intimate conversations: some were reading, or in full intercourse of debate, whilst some were in more, pleasurable pursuits, slight moans of pleasure escaped their furious embraces; and then, it registered both with Cassandra and Heinrich, unnervingly, of the fact that there was feeding taking place, and that some of these couples must be vampire thralls. Marcus quickly lead them through, and they reached a small room that was off the salon, and after rapping firmly, the vampire lead them in.**
Marcus - Pardon, Lady Sefirat? But we have some visitors that wish to convey some business that might prove to our advantage. May I introduce, the Lady Cassandra Elizabeth de Montferrat, and her associate, Monsieur Heinrich Handel.
**Cassandra's scrutinizing of Sef was, in most cases besides this one, probably helpful: To her eyes, she witnessed a young woman of noble bearing not much unlike her nephew. Well, maybe, Nicki wasn't exactly filled with nameless lusts in anything at the moment quite like Sefirat was; Lady Cassandra and Heinrich found her and a companion in the middle of all things... a food fight: laughter subsided quickly though, with stray bits of chocolate flying everywhere. Unfortunately for Heinrich, a melted glob happened to land right on the end of his nose. Once Marcus had entered and done away with introductions though, Sef tried to be every inch of lady she could possibly muster, which considering the circumstances, was quite a bit, and she was able to recover some air of respectability successfully.**
Sef - *Ahem* Yes, well, as you're probably aware, Madame, this is quite a renowned house of debauchery. Now, witticisms aside, I doubt you came here merely to trade in empty repartee. Tell me, what is it Ancien may help you with?
**Frowning, Sef got to her feet, handing Heinrich a looking glass as she did so. The pair thought they might've caught a look pass between herself and Marcus as the noblewoman rose, because the handsome vampire had exited shortly after that, excusing himself with a bow.**
Sef - Here monsieur, you missed a spot. Now, it would seem to me that you've done at least a little research on this before coming here; please, sit, join us. And why don't you start from the beginning? Jeun, will you go and... fetch Bianca and Louisa? I'm afraid they have a long night ahead of them.
**The red-haired vampiress exited as well, squeezing Sef's hand reassuringly before she left the room.**
The lady de Montferrat hung her parasol on the back of a chair and perched herself on it, pulling her legs in tight. She reached out a spare hand and sneaked a quick taste of the chocolate before taking a deep breath.
Cassandra- It started this evening when I accosted a man who was being overly forward with a young Levi girl...
Cassandra glossed over the details of how Heinrich and herself came to associate but otherwise related the entire affair to Sefirat.