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As taken from The Darkness is Mine:
There had always been rumors, suspicions about her past and on how the Vampire race began. Though questioned about it numberous times over the centuries, Draven would simple smile and say, "what does it matter? The past is just that, the past. While it helps shape who we become, it does not define who we are in the present."
As she sat before the large black stone fireplace of her bedroom, her fingers toyed absently with an ancient Nordic drinking horn. Symbols and runes were artfully carved into the cream colored bone surface, perfectly preserved. Resting on her bed, was Fallon, his system still acclimating to the potency of her blood. It had been a shock when he had transformed into a mass of silvery white mist, though not too much of one. She had seen stranger things during her vast life.
The Montriarch lifted the horn to her lips and took a sip of the blood laced mead. It was sweet against her tongue, the blood replenishing what she had freely given to save the younger Vampire's life. She required very little of it now, no more than a thimble full would satisfy her hunger. She remembered very well the first time she had awoken to the blood lust raging in her.
Lightning flashed brightly against the darkness, searing her sensitive eyes. The steady drip of rain fell against the center of her forehead as she lay on the dirt floor of some strange building. It appeared to be a food storage, but how had she gotten here? She remembered the harsh burning of the rising sun and crawling across the earth to reach a cool, dark area. Glancing around her, she noticed that curing meats hung from the ceiling from hooked chains and barrels and baskets were stacked neatly along the walls. This was where they kept the food for the coming winter season. Suddenly, a sharp gnawing pain in her stomach caused her to curl up into the fetal position, her mouth open in a silent scream.
Feed or die.
A voice that was not her own spoke, but she wasn't sure if it was out loud, or simply in her head. Despite the pain, she felt her body obeying the voice's command. Tattered pieces of leather armor hung off of her as she stood. She ripped at them half-heartedly, surprised to find that they shredded like paper beneath her touch. The simple tunic and pants beneath the only thing that remained. The cold and rain didn't faze her. Her vision, as she looked around was sharper, allowing her to see in great detail despite it being pitch black inside the food stores.
Carefully, she stumbled her way towards the door. As silently as she could manage, she pushed it open, amazed when it made no sound at all. She slipped out and into the rain. It plastered her long black hair to her face, but she didn't care, not when there was a tantalizing scent coming from the house up ahead. It called to her like a gift from the Gods themselves.
She didn't remember the walk from the storage house to the main lodging, what they called the longhouse. She suddenly found herself standing in the main aisle that ran down the center of the dwelling. A fire pit burned in the center, acting as both light and heat. Instinctively, she shielded her eyes against the harsh glare as she passed by the flames. She moved so silently that the large family hound laying upon the floor did not even so much as twitch, continuing to sleep soundly and dream about it's masters. How she knew exactly what the beast was dreaming about, she did not know.
Her sense of smell became overwhelmed as she neared the nobles that slept within. The man and woman on one side of the large room and three small children on the other. The gnawing pain in her stomach returned with a fierce vengeance, almost causing her to fall to her knees.
The voice commanded, forcing her to straighten. She reached out blindly, unable to see beyond the pain. She moved swiftly, grabbing the youngest of the three children and bringing thr girl into her embrace. She struck before the child could scream, burying sharp canines into the soft flesh at the crook of her shoulder. The blood as it hit her, filled her and brought with it a euphoric high that was better than anything she had ever experienced.
Draven had blacked out after that first initial feeding, remembering nothing as the force of the blood lust took over. However upon waking later, a grissly sight greeted her. The entire village, every man, woman, child, and animal lay slaughtered, lifeless and forgotten like refuse. She had been covered head-to-toe in blood that she knew immediately was not her own. A subtle motion alerted her to Fallon's awakening, but she made not move to ackowledge it. She took a deep breath after a few moments of silence just before speaking.
"That painting above the fireplace." She said softly, moitioning towards it by raising the drinking horn in her hand. The large painting showed a breath-takingly beautiful bond woman, tight braids keeping half of her hair out of her face. There was a sword strapped to her back and a simple blue dress adorning her lithe frame.
"That was me. A very long time ago. I was once a Shieldmaiden from a long forgotten age of the Vikings." She turned slightly so that her profile was visible in the flickering flames of the fireplace. She trailed her fingertips over her face, a sad smile adorning her full lips. "I look vastly different now, do I not?"
Her once white-blonde hair had darkened, becoming as black as the shadows. Her eyes could shift between the inky black of darkness or the bright red of blood. Her features remained the same, but seemed to have become more ethereal as the centuries progressed. Beside her self portrait was another painting, this one of a man dressed in furs and leather armor, a sword held in front of him. His fierce and commanding blue eyes seeming to stare stright into the very soul.
"That man was Ragnar Lothbrok, a great man. If you have read up on your history, then I am sure you know who he was. What you may not know was that he was once my husband. Most of the history will tell you he had three wives. In reality he had four. I was the last, married in a very private affair that no one knew of but the most trusted. Like his first wife, Lagertha, I was a renowned Shieldmaiden. A proud warrior that had joined Ragnar under his banner."
Draven paused to take a sip of her mead, savoring its flavor for a moment.
"When he died, I was beside myself with anger and grief. He was my first husbnd, afterall. A man that I not only loved, but respected greatly. So, in my grief and anger, I went in search for answers."
She paused for a moment, finally glancing towards the bed in which Fallon remain.
"I had made a vow when we were married that I would not let anyone keep him from me. I am not one to break my vows. I foolishly went in search of Ragnar's soul. My search proved to be my undoing. I found his soul and stole it from the Goddess Hel. The only mortal to attempt and successfully steal anything from the Gods. When they caught up with me, I grew cocky, boasted about how I stole Ragnar Lothbrok's from Hel. The Goddess did not take too kindly to my taunting. I was sentenced to death by what was termed the Blood Eagle execution."
"The sheer agony is unlike anything I could describe to you. It was said that if the offended were to cry out then they would never reach Valhalla. I made not a single noise, nor sound even though I yearned to cry out. "
Her nails dug into the arm of her chair, ripping into the leather surface as the phantom pain gripped her.
"Only I did not reach Valhalla when I died. Instead I was brought to Fˇlkvangr, the hall of the Goddess Freya. She saw on me a great potential, a warrior unlike any other and granted me the gift of life. Only Hel had other plans and cursed me with eternal life to feast upon the blood of my kin and the rest of humanity. Thus the Vampire race was born."
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