I need to gird up my loins, put my sarcasm on hold, and spend some quality time with Brigitte. Today, I particularly feel my lack of education in regard to the ways of our kind. Even so, there is a certain comfort in passing on what lore I do know. Of course, it would help if I knew a little more.
I went over to the tavern to do my usual morning stock-take. I was just about finished, and somewhat lost in my own thoughts when Sophia arrived. I made her coffee and sat down in the hope of some time to talk.
Of course, we were interrupted. Anna came across to drop some food and some tea off for Aoibheann. I recounted my previous discussion with Aoibheann about going to confront the Hunter and we both agreed that Aoibheann’s survival skills were lacking. I took the opportunity to introduce Sophia, but for some reason, I decided not to mention the medicine that Sophia had and was running out of. I had noticed her putting some in her coffee and, I don’t know, something instinctive perhaps, made me think I should investigate further before involving Anna.
Anna left thereafter and Sophia and I took a walk down to the little temple building on the small island, thinking there would be a good private space to talk. I had explained about the Hunter and the myth of the Wild Hunt, and Sophia wanted to know if that was related to the Wild Hunt that Tory had spoken of. As it turned out, we did not get to that particular subject.
When we got to the temple, I did not really know where to begin, so asked her if she had any questions. Rather a stupid thing, obviously she had questions, but I imagined it was best if I deal with her most immediate concerns first. Clearly Tory had been less than forthcoming about her lifestyle and the lore of our kind. Her first question concerned the animosity between the two groups that Tory and I were part of. That, at least, I felt I could explain, and did so, giving her what I knew of the two sects and the reasons for their differences. I told her that while individuals from different sects could get along, just as members of opposing political parties could be friends, or even a Montagu and a Capulet, there were times, given the mutual suspicion and mistrust between the two parties, when it was politically inadvisable to be openly associating with the enemy.
Somehow, from that, we got onto the subject of her medicine. Sophia explained that she had been badly hurt when Tory and Lucy found her, and how they had taken her in and healed her, using this medicine. She said that she was worried what would happen when she ran out, thinking she might revert to the condition she was when they found her. I asked if I could see a bottle of it, so she handed me one. One sniff, and one brief taste, quickly spat out, confirmed my suspicion. It was blood, doubtless Tory’s blood. The poor girl was a ghoul and did not know it. I explained what little I knew of the lore of ghouls – how they gained certain powers and immortality as a result of the blood, how they were bound by the blood and thus often used as servants. I had to confess that I did not know what would happen when she stopped taking it. I offered my speculation; that she would lose the immortality etc, but would revert to being normally human, reasoning that while she had been a ghoul, her body would have healed anyway, so was unlikely to revert to her injured state. I promised I would find out more, hence my reason for wanting to speak with Brigitte.
She seemed unfazed by the concept, but a little uncertain about her future. It did occur to me that I could offer my blood, which I would have done, albeit with open caveats about the effects, in particular, the bond. However, she was rather thoughtful and requested some time alone to contemplate on what she had learned so far. I told her that she knew where to find me, and in the meantime, I would try to learn more.
I am sure there is more she wants to know, but it seemed best to leave it for the moment. Certainly the offering of my blood, I think requires a little more diplomacy than I have available at the moment. And then, not until I have learned more from Brigitte. I left her a note at the bath house, and we wait to see when she next appears.