5 Years – July 18, 2010

I just thought of something. I joined the Camarilla Club 5 years this month. 5 years…I know that may not seem like a great deal of time to some but I haven’t been a part of something for so long since band and choir in school.

5 years in the Cam. And it’s been quite a ride thus far. I remember my first character in the Cam – a delicate little Victorian viper of a Mekhet, as crazy as the day is long and obsessed with dolls. Dear little Dovasary. I loved her. I loved dressing for her. I loved writing for her. I loved researching for her. I loved playing her. Not to say that she wasn’t difficult at times (oh, she was!) but her difficulties made her even more fun. I enjoyed the roundabouts of the Invictus, the titles, the guilds, the lieges. I also got my first taste of being a harpy and fell in love with it. I performed all the offices of a high-ranking Victorian woman and consort to a vampiric Prince – remembering what her lord and master had forgotten, maintaining their household and ghouls, managing missives and announcements, forging alliances, recording boons, and drawing up treaties. Even after Villain was killed, Dovasary kept on. She made mistakes, allowing a new one to master her and make her a prisoner in her own home lest she betray her family again. She loved so many – the ghouls that became as her children (even the one she hated), the one who became her lover-comfort, the man who had served her unquestioningly and unrequitedly for decades – yet she understood only one person and longed for him.

When we finally retired the characters, I decided that it was time for Dove’s cracked mind to join Villain and she shattered into a dream. It was a beautiful, heart-wrenching thing, one of my favorite pieces to write. I’ll show you if you like.

In my 5 years, I have taken time off, everyone needs time to detox. A few months to step back, re-evaluate, and decide what I want to do. We came back and Esther Julian (now Montesori) – decadent Daeva that she is – sprang from my mind. The thing that makes Esther near and dear to me is that she is me. Esther is that part of me that terrified me as a young woman because I didn’t know how to deal with her. She was the part of me that I was afraid I couldn’t control and would explode, destroying everything. For the longest, longest time, I feared that dark part of myself more than anything. But I’m not afraid of her anymore. She has her place and has become rather fun. She began as a shallow, throw-away character but has evolved and grown into something I could have never imagined. She has her own weaknesses and fears, things that I never thought that side of me could have, and I love discovering more and more as I play the character. Now, there are times when I have to ‘sit her down’ and have a chat if she’s getting uppity, but, for the most part, I haven’t had this much fun with a character since Dovasary and it took several tries before I found Esther.

All in all, I love being in the Camarilla. In the past few years, I have become part of the domain support staff, helping Ben in his position as the Middlewhere Domain Coordinator. I also write the bimonthly newsletter for the domain, take care of the sites, and make sure that paperwork is in order as best I can. There are times when things are rough and parts that I don’t like but I work through them, step back and take a breather, rant and rave to my hubby, or whatever is required to help me work through it. I also have some wonderful friends and fellow members who help me through when I need it.

This past weekend, I attended my first regional event: GLaRE 2010. I have only ever attended local Games of the Month and one ICC in 2008. But I never attended those events with the express, conscious purpose and goal of not only reconnecting with old friends but also of meeting and rp’ing with new people, making new connections both in-character and out-of-character.

I like to make friends. It’s fun to meet new people, laugh with them, get to know them. I find that I’m very enthusiastic about new friends. I now have to admit that I turn in a giggly, smiling bundle of cute when I make new friends. Ben is amused by me, I know, but it’s fun. He’s pretty good at making friends, too. His way involves initial conversations and if he hits on something that’s interesting to both parties, off he goes and the conversation never ends. I like talking and laughing with folks and I guess I don’t mind being a bundle of cute. Eventually, folks find my deeper sides and often seem pleasantly surprised. At least I hope they are. But I have made some of my best friends recently through gaming and the Camarilla, and all I can do is thank you.

Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for interacting with me. Thank you for the compliments. Thank you for helping me to found and build up a shaky self-esteem over the years. Thank you for listening when I need an ear. Thank you for kicking my butt when I need it. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for the guidance. Thank you for answering my myriad of questions.

Thank you, most of all, for getting to know me.


Gamer Dreams – July 3, 2010

Author’s Note: This is a dream that I had about my LARP character and one of her friends.

For several minutes, Esther wandered the edges of the gathering, as though deciding the right time to dive in. The grand event was just beginning and not many people had arrived yet, so she observed the fringes, noting who had already arrived that she recognized. Soon, she drifted from the room and into the halls to explore the beautiful manor that served as their setting for the evening. Suddenly, she felt a jolt run up her spine and someone grabbed her arm brutally, whipping her around!

“I should have known,” Porter snarled into her face. Turning, he dragged Esther forcefully down the hall before she could utter a word. Finding a spare room unlocked, he threw the door open and tossed her inside the room, shoving her against the wall roughly.

To her shame, Esther found herself terrified and shaking to be alone in a room with this man, this lunatic. Here, there were no witnesses.

Porter regarded the woman trying to compose herself with a cold eye. “You have some brazen nerve showing your face here amongst proper Kindred,” he growled lowly, “But then we know you’re brazen, don’t we?”

Esther tried to stand as tall as she had that night but something in his presence unnerved her, unexplainably so, and made it impossible to pull herself together. She felt utter fear, revulsion, and disgust; they all roiled together in her form, tearing her foundation apart.

Just then a knock came at the door. After a final glare, Porter snarled, “You…don’t move.” With that, he opened the door and left the room.

Esther forced herself slowly to breathe, to calm and compose now that his presence lifted from the room like a cannon weight. It was exceedingly difficult to ground herself, however, and she jumped when the door reopened. Instead of Porter, though, in walked Gryphon!

Esther felt her chin tremble and, as Gryphon approached her gingerly with his hands spread, she threw herself into his arms, burying her face in his shoulder with her arms clasped around his neck. Her chest heaved but she refused to let herself cry.

Gryphon didn’t say a word, just held and shh’ed her quietly. His hand rubbed her back while the other arm wrapped around her waist tightly. Softly, he began to hum. Some obscure Irish tune that vibrated in her ear and down into her belly.

Finally, he whispered, “I wanted to explain…”

Even though she had played this moment over and over in her mind, Esther found herself shaking her head, pulling back gently. Amazingly, she realized that she was no longer angry with him, just missed him terribly.

“I understand what it is to not have a choice,” she murmured, her hand touching his cheek.

Gryphon looked rather downcast as he brushed a loosened tendril away from her temple. “I…want you to know that I am leaving Indiana after tonight.”

“Leaving? Are you serious?” She tried to ignore the tearing somewhere in her heart.

“Yes, it’s too…violent here for me. After what happened with you…” he paused, looking away, before taking her hands in his. “I can’t stay here with all this bloodshed. But I wanted to say goodbye to you…properly.” A rakish smile touched his lips then, “So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?” He took a step towards the massive bed that occupied a good portion of the room.

Esther held tightly to his hand, stopping his progress for a moment. “We don’t have to do this, Angel. I want to talk to you about…”

“I don’t, Esther,” he said softly, lowly. “I don’t want to talk about it. I want…you. Clothes off. On the bed. Now.” That smile almost killed her.

How could she resist it?

June 23, 2010 – Rageful Pain

Author’s Note: I write this as scene for a character that I play in a larp game. It’s been a long time since a scene flowed so naturally for me. I had a fabulous time with her angst, I must say.

Esther sat in the darkness of her house. Only a few sparse lights on but most in deep, dark shadow. Her mind raced and tumbled and roiled, her spirit yearned and hated and screamed. Her heart twisted and tore and moaned in pain. She felt forces at war within her, threatening to tear her asunder.
He hadn’t come. She had called for him and he hadn’t come. Gryphon had stood there in that room, watched Porter scream and threaten her with torture and death, watched McGreggor half-drain her and somehow force her to burn away the rest of her own blood. He must have watched her drop, lifeless, to the ground. And yet he had said and done nothing! She needed to know why. Why had he been there? Why had he said nothing, stood as far away from her as he could? What was the point? She needed to know. She was angry, yes, extremely so, but, moreover, she was hurt, confused…betrayed. If he had had no desire to help her, he should have stayed out. She’d almost wavered at sight of him, but finally overcame it.

Yes, she was angry. Angry at Porter for doing this to her (yet, she felt that she could understand why he did it, oddly enough), angry at Gryphon for not helping her or at least standing up for her, angry at Gabriel for blaming himself and crying over her, angry at herself for not fighting  back. And she found herself to be especially pissed at the Nosferatu. They were everything that was wrong with this darkened world – self-serving, arrogant, torturous monsters. It was a Nos who had cut her face open and made her relive the most horrible pain of her lifetime. It was a Nos who had had stabbed Julian, spilled the blood that sent her into frenzy and doomed him, they had a hand in Julian’s death as surely as if they had pulled down those curtains themselves. It was a Nos that had held, half-drained, and forced her burn away the rest of her own vitae from her veins. It was a Nos who had ordered it, and a Nos prince that now ruled her city and had surely said nothing in her defense. It was them. They were the cause of everything! Even Fairchild. He was no better than the rest of them. He served his own agenda, no matter what happened to others. He tucked tail and ran while she met her enemy head on. He was just like the rest of the sneaky rats.

Esther’s heart smote her, the bond punishing her even as she thought those things but she didn’t care. Esther shook with rage and pain and found herself screaming. Thankfully, the shadow-swathed studio was soundproofed and her screams died halfway through the heavy insulation. She wanted to cry, wanted to so badly but she refused to allow herself to do so. She barely cared about the world outside the walls of her home, vampiric or mortal. What the hell was she to do now? Carry on as she had before? Surely, she was no longer harpy or herald and was thus of no use to the Nos-filled court in any case. No one would care for her, no one would protect her if they came for her again.

Shakily, Esther stood to her feet, looking at the mirrors all around her in the dance studio, her reflection blurry in the sparse light of the room. Suddenly, with a rageful roar, she rushed at the mirrors, fist striking out at them. The glass shuddered, bent, then cracked, then shattered, falling in shards and shrapnel and bits to the wooden floor. She rushed at the next and obliterated it as well. Systemically, frantically, logically, madly, Esther Montesori rained glass down on the world that she inhabited, sparkling shards covering the floor. Her bare feet were cut, embedded with the razor bits but she did not care. One could hardly say that she felt them.

Empty frames covered the walls, white and blue reflected from the ceiling and onto the floor but in mere bits and pieces. A broken fascimile of the majestic sky. Esther knelt in the middle of it all. Silently, eerily so.

Slender, red-lined fingers unfolded and crept outward, searching for something. Finally it found it. A sharp point flashing in sparse light. A sharp point met flesh and began its course. A sharp point severed skin cell, flesh fibers, sinew and muscle, leaving an open path in its wake. East to West, West to East the paths – two of them – stretched on Esther’s face.

For the fourth time, the final time, she told herself, she bore the marks of absolute pain, absolute helplessness. She would not do it again. She would die before she would do it again.