By Dream Janus
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Much thanks and appreciation goes to Rubilacxe, my editor and second set of eyes.
Note from Dream Janus: This story is a prequel to "The Breed" and as such may give a bit of back story on characters in that story. As you will notice this is written in first person unlike "The Breed".
I continued to make connections in the "world of darkness" making small inroads toward creating a vampiric government. Most of them were nothing more than City level governments without any connections to each other, even at the most basic levels. They had their own laws and rules, sometimes in conflict with their neighbors. Occasionally I would be asked to lead their governments; I would give bases of my ideal government and then move on.
It was during my fourth or fifth trip to Germany, I met my first set of Thropes. The first one I met was named Hans; He was a huge mountain of a man very jovial and outgoing but with an inner darkness that you could only see if you looked in his eyes only when he was laughing the loudest. He and I played the game of Human to Human while we sat in that stuffy crowded and dark tavern. The funny thing was I believe that both of us "knew" something was not quite right about the other, but we both were not sure. I found out later Hans felt I was a vampire, but was not sure because of the Ancient thing, apparently Ancients smell different to him.
About a week later I met Cyrus, another western traveler, who also happened to be a Thrope of a different variety than Hans. Cyrus was very small and shifty, his eyes never stayed on one point for very long. I didn't think too much about it other than Cyrus was probably a wanted man for some petty theft or some other small infraction. Boy, was I wrong! The moment Hans walked into the Tavern to meet me, Cyrus actually squeaked in fear and tried to run away. The funny thing was Hans' eyes also locked onto Cyrus at that exact second. That was when I learned Werebears have an inborn desire to treat Wererats like soccer balls and kick them as much as possible. I have since learned that it is totally inborn and they have no control over the instinct and actually it is not malicious in intent, but with practice can be overcome.
Cyrus ran out of the Tavern and into the night. I met up with him several nights later. He and I became friends until his death when he was 145 human years of age. Hans didn't try to run after him, but burst out into laughter and began explaining how much fun it would have been to chase him, if he was younger. Hans then looked at me and demanded that we speak freely. I agreed.
"You are a Vampire and I am a Thrope Bear more commonly known as a Werebear" Hans blurted out. He then cocked his head to the side and smiled "Right?"
I of course was shocked by his revelation but agreed with him. We both smiled like idiots for a couple of minutes and continued to drink our pints of mead. Hans also ate some of the Tavern mistress' stew.
Hans explained that there where seven different varieties of Thropes. There were Wolves, Bears, Rats, Lionnoid (Lion), Panthoid (Panther), Aquan (water breathers, like Mermaids), and Avian (bird like).
I in turned explained that there where five types of Vampires. Hans was surprised as he only knew of two. The types of vampire are (1) Those born of vampiric parents, (2) those who were infected, (3) The Ancients, (4) The Dhampir ½ breed and (5) The slaves made from vampire blood but not by draining, I later called them `Fangs'. He and I both later found that there was a 6th variety (6) Mixed Breed Vampire – Vampire/Ghoul or Thoul and Vampire/Trope or Fray'an.
Hans and I spent that night talking about the differences and other species of `Dark' creatures that he had met on his travels. By the end of the week Hans and I were inseparable. Over the years there developed a sort of love between us, more like brothers as we were never lovers. Hans was lucky enough to live to see the birth of the Conclaves, but he did not see my rise as the leader of the world wide conclave.
Cyrus eventually was able to calm his nerves enough to be around Hans, but he was very skittish around other Thropes. I later found out that not only was Cyrus afraid of Thrope Bears but just about anyone, he was a sneak thief and had a price on his head. I am proud to say that no one ever was able to collect as both Hans and I protected him. Besides even though he was guilty of the `crime', he did it for noble and compassionate reasons. If you think of Robinhood you have the idea. I even think the legend was created because of him, though I could be wrong.
By the 11th century most of Europe had some form of Breed based government, local regional, territorial and what not. Though I knew that my travels were far from over, I attempted to travel into new territories and countries. Eventually I ran across Elzabeth and we talked and talked. We talked our situation out and decided to again travel with each other, but only as companions (her idea).
During that time I met, fell for and changed Marcus, the second of my children and the future master of the Conclave of the United States of America. Elzabeth claimed many followers, courtesans and lovers but never produced a blood child.
We spent the next three hundred years creating Breed based governments all over China and The Middle East. China was an easy place to live but due to their superstitious nature about us was hard to bring government to the Middle East was hell; the unrelenting sun tore our flesh quicker than anywhere in Europe.
It was during our trips to the Middle East that I meet and changed Amera. She was an Arabian beauty like no other, her only flaw was that she was born poor and took to feeding in a way that eventually was her downfall. Unlike the rest of us who took only one each week, Amera fed every night and gorged herself on whole families and their animals. Eventually the villagers set a trap for her, 10 men laid in wait watching for her attack. When Amera finally attacked, they jumped her and a fight to the death was on. Amera killed 9 of the 10 men. Her mistake was thinking that one of the men she had knocked about was dead and not checking to make sure. This man got behind her and cut her head off with his scimitar. For the day he was a hero, until a very angry Elzabeth ripped off his head manually with her own hands.
By now I had begun creating cannon of rules or laws that each of the small governments were to agree upon, if they wanted my help in the future. I also began writing on how a new vampire should be treated and trained by their sire. Amera's behavior became a new work, "how to deal with mad (crazy) offspring".
The Black Death, created three great changes to the world of Darkness as well as the world as Whole. First, the great numbers of human deaths brought our feeding habits to the awareness of the humans and we (Vampires and Thropes) became hunted. Second, the large numbers of accidental deaths created by scared people eager to destroy anything they felt was the cause of the illness, created large amounts of meals for the Ghouls of that time. Lastly, the creation of permanent `safe areas' for everyone to hide which later became known as Havens.
The great amounts of human deaths created in that time forced the humans to look for reasons. Some of the reasons were valid, bad sanitation and rabid animals for one. Others were superstitious mumbo jumbo and old fears. The Vampires and Thropes became the target for many death squads. These death squads were the final reason needed for the European Vampires to unite as one group and the Thropes to unite into the more modern clans. A loose truce and agreement for mutual survival was drafted between the Vampires and the Thrope Clans, even though racial tendencies still ran deep between the different Thrope Clans.
It was during this time that I met my first Ghouls. Ghouls are not dead or undead creatures, but being their greatest source of food was in the cemeteries they gained that reputation. Ghouls cannot properly digest vegetable protein or even regular meat protein; they have to consume rotting meat from animals or humans to survive. They were more like the legends at that time as they fed and lived in the cemeteries, living not only off of the dead but off of the fear of the superstitious people of the time. As a group the ghouls were the last to accept the laws of the Conclave, but individuals were around from that point on, as day helpers and as `clean-up'.
The safe areas that were created during that time were marked so that everyone, except the humans knew about them. The older safe areas were still used but more out of habit than being superior to the new. The marks that signified the safe areas differed slightly between the Vampires ran and Thrope ran Havens, but it was openly acknowledged that all were welcome.
It was during this time that I changed the majority of my `children', Marie, Simon, Anthony, Jason, Adallinda (Linda) and Theuderic (Theo or Ric). They, Elzabeth and Marcus eventually became the modern Conclave counsel. Each of the `children' had and has a special place in what was left of my heart. The interesting thing at the time was each of them tried to hide the fact from me that there was jealousy coming from each and everyone of them about the others. The only one who was not affected by the jealousy was Elzabeth; she was already comfortable in her position with me. I knew about the small childish behaviors that happened between the younger ones, even though they attempted to hide it from me.
Eventually they worked out their personal pecking order. When they finally figured this out I needed to send them to different locations all over Europe. It helped create the modern system of having a Master or higher in charge of each local Conclave unit. My children did not remain at the locations they were sent but instead had a small circuit of Conclaves that were in their specific `territories'. After a hundred years the territories grew larger and more uniform until they became the way they are now. Then all my children returned to me and we formed our first version of the "Council".
The 1500's through 1750 were a bloody time for the new Thrope clans and to a lesser degree us Vampires as that was the time of the Blood Wars. Just so you know what the wars were over was the purity of the Simboid, Feline, Bear and Wolf blood lines. There had been the occasional interbreeding between the Thrope races and members of the Feline, Bear and Wolf clans to opposing positions on the idea. The Simboid clans got dragged into it only because they offered sanctuary to the poor unfortunate mixed breeds that were hunted by the other races. The rodent Thropes were saved from the war because their biology could not and cannot intermix with other Thropes.
For those that do not know what Simboid's were, they were Ape versions of the Thropes that came from Africa and to a lesser degree Asia. For all intents and purposes they were wiped out by the wolves over a fifty year period. Now please understand that I am not saying they are extinct but as far as being able to rebuild their numbers into a proper clan, they might as well be. No known Simboid have sat foot in any Conclave since 1673, at least a full breed Simboid that is.
At the end of the Blood Wars, we vampires stepped in and basically laid down the law. It was agreed that a system would be created to allow those that wanted to control their members' purity to breed responsibly and maintain their purity. It was the first racial database, which to this day still exists, though in a much larger and now electronic form as well as the original paper format. It was also agreed that they would join the Vampires under one leader. They also created their own versions of Royalty to self govern.
For those that care now is the best time for a lesson in Breed leadership and authority. The Conclave act more like a world based government creating laws that affect everyone and everything. The Clan Royalty in turn makes laws that affect the specific group of Clans world-wide. The individual Clan's rulers make laws and rules that govern them specifically. So it is basically World Law, National Law and then local law, very similar to what the humans have but with a way for everyone to know all the laws.
The Conclave in turn has a ruling class as well, The Ancient is the final word in everything, The Conclave Counsel is next in line and each member has the title of Counselor. Lords are next, they are the members of the Shadow Counsel and then followed by the Knights or Shadows and lastly the Masters...For those who stop here and say knights and lords are the same rank, no they are not in the De'wann language, any more than the positions are the same.
The 1700's ended with the Breed sending out members into the New World...
So ends the 3rd Chapter of "I Antino"
Note from Dream Janus: I am curious now that the 3rd chapter is completed what you the readers think of the prequel. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Editor's Comments: Very intricately laid out but extremely helpful to understanding The Breed.