Chapter Three: The Curse & The Statue
Immortal Rose's Journal
Entry 3: Full moon
My trip to the library proved to be well worth the effort as I have returned with a wealth of knowledge. What an extraordinary history lies hidden here! The library itself is a vast room with a vaulted ceiling, and the shelves of books are seemingly endless. Indeed, if the library of my youth seemed as a holy sanctuary to me, then this can only be hailed as paradise itself! I spent quite a bit of time researching there, for when I paused to gaze out the closest window, the phase of the current moon had completed itself. I hastened back here to my laboratory to detail what I have learned.
As far as former rulers go, there are few of which to speak. While in any other society this would be considered odd, I must constantly remind myself that I am no longer in a land of mortals where only the statues of sovereigns past seemed out of time's reach. Vampiric entities are not subject to age and the decay of faculties that comes with it. Thus, I should not be surprised. However what does come as surprise to me is the discovery of legends in this dark realm. Who could have guessed that these creatures of myth would also have their own myths as well? I will take the time to note one here that is of particular interest, as it holds the same flower that has become my namesake and may very well help me discover what strange powers lie dormant within myself. It is referred to as the 'Legend of the Immortal Rose'.
"~In the days when the worlds were still young, there was a beautiful realm of magical night. A sacred place abundant in clear waters, lush fields and majestic forests. In the midst of one such forest was a clearing where fragrant roses bloomed the color of the pale moonlight. As the years passed and the realm grew prosperous it was noticed that one rose never faded or withered like the others. This came to be known as the immortal rose, or Rosencroix. The vampiric race took a particular interest in this rose and built their kingdom around it. Rosencroix Kingdom became a place synonymous with beauty, elegance, and immortality. This lasted for several centuries until a strange and powerful ruler took the throne. Unlike the past kings and queens, he was cold and cruel. He ruled his kingdom with an iron fist, silencing any who dared oppose him. His name was Nicolae. Under Nicolae, a reign of terror swept the land. The cries of the dead rode on the wind and the waters ran red. Nothing could sate his thirst for blood or his lust for absolute power. Nearby villages were burned to the ground to increase his kingdom and the villagers forced to serve his every whim. His castle walls were built with their bodies, strengthened with their bones and blood. In the end, Nicolae still wasn't satisfied.
One evening he wandered through the castle pondering as to what more could give him power and satisfaction when he saw a pale figure in the castle's gardens. Intrigued, Nicolae approached closer. The figure was that of a beautiful woman with hair and dress of purest white standing amongst the roses. Immediately, a strong thirst overwhelmed him as he watched her. Her beating heart resounded through his head and he could smell the fragrant blood that rushed through her veins. Resisting was futile. Instantly, he grabbed her and fed. The woman's blood flowed through him, but instead of renewing his power and satisfying his thirst, Nicolae began to grow weak. He let go and stumbled back, his eyes wide in confusion. The figure's white countenance was soaked in her blood turning her whole countenance crimson. Slowly, her form vanished to reveal the immortal rose, Rosencroix dyed red. Nicolae had fed off the spirit of the immortal rose. Overhead the moon bled crimson until the entire surface was blood. It's cursed light shone down on the land causing it to wither and die and the waters to become blood. As he looked on, the immortal rose turned to stone. The land was cursed. The blood that Nicolae drank weakened him further until he turned to stone as well, but even this was not enough. The deed had been done and it was too late. Forever must the Immortal Rose be stone, and forever must the moon proclaim the tale in blood.~"
So this is the power that the master spoke of. How unusual. Such a bloody past this land has. I must remember to ask more on this, though I must say that the thought of sitting here writing amidst bones and blood is quite unsettling, and I am much exhausted from the efforts I have spent thus far. I would take rest here, however the events of late are still fresh, and the Lord's face still etched into my mind's eye. I fear this room may not be fully my own. I shall seek another area for brief repose and bring this journal with me. I am much too tired to deal with another threat at this time and I would not likely take it as kindly as I have done to this point. Hmm...Thoughts of violence. Perhaps this place is already beginning to tell on me. I fear I may soon lose the last of whatever humanity remains in these bones of mine. But that is enough for now. I must hurry to find a suitable location before my mind succumbs fully to sleep.
I'm afraid sleep will not come any longer to me, and for good reason. Let me write of things while they are still fresh and the images clear.
I had found a small garden outside of the large yet remaining within it's shadow, and a marble bench within it's confines. This seemed a suitable place at the time and most welcoming with it's strange blossoms. I am beginning to better notice the rose theme as these were the flowers of choice here, yet each a bloody hue that is not common elsewhere save for the flower I had discovered within the darkened forests of home. I wondered in passing if I had stumbled upon the same garden of the legend I had been reading, but did not care to dwell on the subject. Sleep came fast and I could no longer fight against it's unrelenting power. Hence, I crossed to the bench, lay my journal down and dozed. For how long I slept I remain uncertain, for I was woken quite suddenly by a low flying bat who had seen fit to perch on my head. The strange creature gave a pitiful squeak as I rose and made a grab for it. The bat evaded my grasp and flew to land on a statue which I had hereto not noticed. I removed the sleep from my eyes and went to better examine the stone.
What an appalling sight met my eyes! The statue depicted a tall figure in formal trappings with quite long hair. However his eyes were wide in horror and arms raised towards the heavens. On his face was a fanged snarl twisted into a look of defiance and rage. The look was so startling and gruesome in it's familiarity that I rushed promptly back to the library, remembering where I had seen it previously. Indeed! I did not err! This is no mere legend, but truth. The statue most accurately depicts the late Lord Nicolae of the kingdom. How wondrous! I shall remember hence forth to treat the events of the past justly and not give them over to mere fairy tales. Though it does make me wonder. I know now from a mortal standpoint that the rumors and stories of vampiric species that I once deemed as folly to be true, so what else then could exist here in this land of night?
Ah, enough of this! There is work to be done!
- Immortal Rose