A Ghost Returns

A Ghost Returns

As if things were not bad enough, with the spirit of Vedis occupying the walls of the laboratory, we now have another visitor – the ghost of the one known as Padishar – vampire, demon, and now, apparently, a ghost. Nothing is ever simple in this land.

I had been down in the vaults, dealing with Dorina. The guards had summoned me after she had apparently been muttering about blood and asking about her dagger. This was the one she had been holding when Vasily and Mirko arrested her, which they had brought to me for safe-keeping. I went down to see how she was and to assure her that the dagger was quite safe. I had things to discuss with her, but we were interrupted by the arrival of Aoibheann with one of the other guards, Vasily, claiming she was lost. Some day, I shall have to work out how she is getting past the candle sconce. She can’t be borrowing Kustav every time she gets down here. Vasily had found her in the corridors and brought her to me to see what she wanted. She promptly demonstrated her ability to jump to entirely the wrong conclusion from a standing start, wailing that I couldn’t lock somebody up just for getting lost.

It took me a moment to work out what she meant. Admittedly, I was standing by a cell, and I did have somebody locked in it, but even with my long experience of Aoibheann logic, it took a moment to see things from her point of view. I assured her that this was not going to happen; else I would be having to lock myself up a lot of the time, and asked what she wanted.

She stuck with her being lost story, claiming she wanted to see Maric. When she asked about Dorina, I told here that Dorina was in custody for her own safety. Her response left me baffled, even for Aoibheann – asking if Jesus wanted to kill all the vampires. I have no idea where she got that from. I don’t know of anybody in the village who is particularly religious, or would have filled her head with such ideas.

I didn’t get a chance to follow the question up because Dorina had started to ask me something, but before I could answer, her eyes started to change, and her hair started to go white. I could see she was struggling with the beast, and that the beast was winning. I called up my powers and tried to reach the Dorina side of her nature, to command her to stay with us. I partly got her attention, but the other side was still winning, and she started talking in Gaelic, Irish presumably. I did try to persuade Aoibheann to leave us, but she would not. Apparently, it seems that there is enough similarity between the Irish and the Scots for them to understand each other, because Aoibheann started talking back to her. What she was saying, I didn’t know, but it was getting Dorina’s attention.

Maric turned up at this point, making brief greeting to us before turning attention to Dorina, greeting her in her own tongue and asking if she had some other name. I knew this because he was translating for me on the fly, rather than me suddenly developing a knack for languages

Aoibheann started speaking as well, but the only bit I understood was something about her being Scottish, at least, I think that was what Albannach meant. Dorina, meanwhile, reacted to Maric, but seemed confused, calling him Lorcan and asking how he could have forgotten, before sinking into a helpless silence. Her eyes and hair were almost completely gone to the beast, but she was still trying, tears being forced out. I silently advised Maric about Lorcan being Dorina’s father and how he used to help her control the beast. He thanked me for that and asked for my suggestions as to how to help control her. I said that I had previously offered my blood, and that since she seemed to trust me, she might still accept my offer.

He agreed that this was probably the best option, so I asked if he could translate for me, thinking the words at him, and him telling me how to say that in old Irish. Just then, there was a feeling of disturbance in the castle sense. Maric seemed to be receiving a message from somewhere, since he bade us hurry and be on our guard because a dark ghost had entered the castle.

He continued to translate for me, as I spoke to Dorina. I was most likely mangling the pronunciation horribly, but she seemed to understand. Meanwhile, I was aware of the guards forming up, preparing to deal with this new problem, no doubt under Maric’s direction. I spoke to Dorina gently, reminding her who I was, and offering to let her feed, in order to help control her beast. She seemed to understand, as she withdrew her attention from Maric and took my offered wrist, saying, from what Maric translated for me, that she would feed. She bit, quite hard, but fortunately, I was ready to harden my skin if necessary. She drank, long and deep, and I could feel the hunger of her beast, and while I could not yet touch her mind, I could at least feel the rational side, that which I knew as Dorina, returning, slowly. She opened her eyes, looked at what she was doing and looked shocked, asking, with expletives, what she had done.

Maric told her that she had been weakened by her condition and that how I had helped her recover, saying that we would still look for a longer-term solution. He was clearly distracted, presumably by some other mental conversation he was having with those of the guards who were dealing with the ghost. I told Dorina that the beast had gained control and that I had sated it, for now, by letting it feed from me. I explained that my blood may possibly help her with the control, but we would have to work together on it later. At Aoibheann’s prompting, I lent her a hanky to clean up her face and sent Tihomir, the guard who had been on duty when it all started, to take her to one of the cottages and make sure she had everything she needed to get cleaned up etc.

Meanwhile, Maric had warned Aoibheann to be on her guard, because of the ghost. He said that it was supposedly a minion of Vedis’ and was probably safe, but to be wary just in case. When I enquired mentally, he told me that it was apparently somebody called Padishar. That did surprise me, and so I quickly told him what I knew of that worthy, both what I knew from personal experience and what I had learned from the story Valene told Aoibheann and I that evening some while ago. He seemed pleased with that information, thinking it may well help him in any dealings he had with said ghost. He bade me keep Aoibheann and Dorina safe while he went to speak to Padishar and left us. Aoibheann was a little reluctant to go at first, claiming that Maric had said it was probably safe, but I pointed out that it was a minion of Vedis, so maybe we didn’t want to be around, just in case. That much, she was happy to agree with, and so we left for the more comfortable parts of the castle.

Dorina went off to the cottage she had been using to clean up. I advised the guards to keep an eye on her just in case. Aoibheann disappeared off to do her own thing, and I busied myself in the library. I have a dhampyr to care for, and I have no idea how.

A Ghost Returns



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