Now November; things have been quiet.
My mom presented a trip the witches were going to take, asking if I wanted to go because she was contemplating on whether or not to go.She’s never traveled with a large coven of witches and it would be a great and honorable experience meeting grand witches and warlocks. After thinking about it and remembering what Marxus had said about it, I agreed to go; in two days.
I made arrangements with Leonus, instructing him to keep track of the cargo and shipment of supplies ONLY; making sure they arrived on time. Nothing more. Erik and Jonathan I definitely left in charge of the blood supply since Leonus; a lycanthrope immensely hated the vampires. Lycans and vampires are always at war and I hope that now Marxus is gone, I’ll be able to continue keeping the peace between them. Well...somewhat anyway. Plus, I knew I could also rely on Anthony and Thomas, if needs be.
Just when I thought things were arranged, a Frenchman miraculously appeared at the manor, outside the study door’s open archway, carrying a black leather suitcase, handcuffed to his left wrist. How he appeared, was unknown and he certainly wasn’t announced. He stood tall with a hefty build dressed in a black steampunk suit with a red Templar cross pinned at the lapel. His shaved head gave him the appearance of a military man. In the privacy of the study, once offering greetings of welcome and formal introductions, he revealed to me that he belonged to the Templar Order of Men, founded by the Castillion bloodline. I had so many questions but only some were answered. He laid the suitcase on the desk opening it with a combination code meant for his eyes only. Once the case popped open abruptly, he removed four folders filled with thick stacks of papers, laying them down before me.
“What are these?” I asked opening the top folder.
“These are the deeds to the Isle of Castillion, and fund transfers, as well as holdings all around the world…all in your name.” the man answered in a French accent, “All you have to do now, Mademoiselle…” he removed a pen from his suitcase, “is sign and it’s fini…done.”
I took the pen; baffled for I couldn’t believe Marxus had time to do all of this. Obviously, he had it all prepared, months before I came or just after I arrived.
Two hours passed and all the papers were signed, leaving a case of writer’s cramp in my hand. Once tucking the folders back inside his secure suitcase, I asked,
“So…does this mean I have to be forced into joining the Templar order?”
“No. You don’t have any rights to the Order, for you are a woman and we the Order of Men, don’t recognize a woman at our table.” he answered bluntly, “A Keeper is one thing but a member, is another.”
“Oh, okay. That’s good to know. I have enough to worry about anyway.”
“Everything is now yours, Mademoiselle. Now, it was a pleasure meeting you.” he bowed politely.
“You too, Sir.” I answered, “And the name is Yzavela. And yours?”
“Very elegant name, Sir. But I do have one more question.”
“Yes?” he waited patiently.
“Hold are you?” I asked bluntly, “Just…curious.”
“I’m six hundred and fifty years old.” he revealed, “I’ve been around since Marxus came to be. I’ve helped him tremendously in all legal matters. Do have a wonderful life, Mademoiselle. Pardon me, Yzavela…the new Keeper.”
“Six hundred and fifty!?” I blurted.
Saying nothing he stood.
“If you ever need our help, dial zero on the phone on the desk…speak your name and we’ll come.” then he turned, disappearing.
“Wait!” I called out, then stood baffled once more, “I knew he had to be a vampire when he walked in. Plus too, he arrived with no vehicle or any transportation. Hmm. Just more secrets I have to deal with.”
Turning to the desk minutes later, there sat the stack of folders with a note tucked inside its envelope, placed atop. The note read:
“Here’s your copy, Yzavela. It was my pleasure.
I smiled knowing magic was involved then accepted the fact that I, in some way, without acknowledgment, was part of the Templar Order of Men but not in any active sworn-in way. I removed the folders placing them in the safe, changing the combination afterwards for my access only. If Leonus got his hands on them, I’d be f***ed.
After arrangements were made, I took a ride on Axeon late that night while everyone slept along with Abraxas, to fly above the island making sure nothing dangerous headed our way. It was my very first time being on a dragon, and I was a bit nervous, but Axeon flew smoothly. We flew high above Ravenstone and from the air, I truly realized just how enormous this island was. I studied the landscaping, mapping everything in my mind.
South: Ravenstone Port and Village (RP and V) with their beautiful, peaceful beach
North: Forest and old ruins of some sort; Ravenstone manor located near the tree line and heading North, were all the homes
Southeast: Lighthouse and small cottage or living quarters for guards
East: Farm, stables and Raven aviaries
Southwest: Ravenstone’s prison house
West: Cemetery and Mausoleum
And among all these structures; nothing but open landscaping, scattered patches of trees and high cliff sides. The tall braziers marked their paths, leaving a pattern similar to branches of a tree. I was amazed yet understood the responsibility placed upon my shoulders.
“All of this is mine now.” I said aloud,”My god…I’m definitely going to need help.”
Glancing below I could see movement through the faint fog knowing it was the Boar-wolves. They scampered around the island causing their usual ruckus.Soaring further out I could see the Great City and the dark cloud looming over it in the distance. Utilizing his dragon’s speed, we flew closer.Smoke rose from rooftops, flying blimps and other machines hovered the air, causing me not to venture out any further. We flew toward White-haven and Penrith then returned to his cave beneath the island, that took a matter of minutes as opposed to any other travel.
“Thank you, Axeon.” I petted his snout.
“Anytime, young one.” he replied, “It was an honor.” he bowed.
“Oh, no…the honor was all mine. Now I know how Marxus must have felt.”
The next morning came quickly for our departure; the witches, my mom and I were ready to leave. We all gathered at the harbor, beginning to board the ferry. My friends were saddened, wishing they could join me; imagining what sort of adventure that could hold. The witches said their goodbyes to friends and family members, leaving me left behind to do the same.
They all gave strong hugs. Sarah and Jonathan stood aside with Margaret and Belle who just finished their farewells with their mother, leaving Erik and I there to say our personal goodbyes. My mom too, walked away, waiting for me on the dock, looking back and smiling in approval.
“So...” Erik said, “how long will you be gone?”
“I don’t know.” I replied, “The witches say this gathering lasts a few months to a year but no longer. Believe me I don’t want to go but it’s Keeper stuff. You know.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s just…going to be lonely and quiet without you around here you know. Everyone’s going to miss you. I’m going to miss you. Especially that mouth.”
“Oh, very funny jackass. But I guess I’m going to miss you too. You’re a pain in my ass that just won’t go away.”
“Ouch!” he joked as he held his hands up to his chest, “Hey, listen...before you go? I bought this for you.” he handed me the pendant box.
“What’s this?” I glanced down at it then up at him.
“Open it.” he urged.
Smiling, I opened it. Inside, was a beautiful pendant relating to ASSASSIN’S CREED, but with a black stone within the arch.
“Knowing you lost the other one probably in the Cave of Tricks, or the skirmish between the Hunters...or maybe it was at the Town with no Name...I thought maybe you’d like some new luck.” he spoke softly with a smile, “See where that takes you.”
“It’s...beautiful.” I admired, “Thank you. More meaningful than the other one.”
“I had it specially made for you. The black stone represents Abraxas...or your hound. Whichever you like.”
I glanced up at his face hoping to gaze into his eyes, but he stared down at his feet nervously with a slight pout. Once looking up, he caught my gaze as I smiled.
“What?” he asked innocently.
“Nothing.” I replied.
“Yzavela! Come on, let’s go!” my mom’s voice called out and turning around, everyone had boarded, growing impatient waiting for me.
I turned back to Erik, giving him a large smile and hug, thanking him for the gift. Grabbing my bags and placing the pendant box in one of the pockets, I headed down the dock then paused. Dropping my bags, I turned running up to Erik, giving him a kiss which he didn’t expect.
Sarah and Jonathan gasped in joy, as this moment finally happened.
I gently pulled away looking into his gray eyes, biting my lower lip.
“Catch you later, jackass.” I whispered as I backed away.
Erik stood surprised. As I grew closer to the ferry, he hollered out as he took steps forward,
“Hey...that’s not fair!”
I turned giving another smile then climbed onto the ferry’s ramp that raised quickly.
“Uh-uh.” he mumbled, “You’re not leaving before I kiss you.” then he teleported onto the ferry’s deck, surprising the women and the driver; Anthony who grew impatient and agitated at Erik’s presence.
“Erik...get off the ferry!” he barked, “This is for Wiccans only!”
“Put a muzzle on it, mutt!” Erik snapped as he walked toward the back where I sat, “Hey...hey, Keeps.” he continued.
“What are you doing here?” I asked as I stood, “You’re not supposed to be here.”
“See...you don’t kiss a vampire... this vampire and leave like that. No, no.” he answered as he gently pulled me in, returning the kiss but far more passionate, “There. Now that’s a proper goodbye.” he leaned his forehead against mine, “Catch you later, pissant. Stay out of trouble now. Come back soon, yeah?”
He stepped back leaving me standing there flustered, then teleported off the ferry. My mom looked at me smiling in approval. I sat back down with a large smile, then turned looking out the window watching as Erik waved on the dock.
As the ferry drove out the of the port, Erik said quietly,
“Safe journey, Keeps.I’ll miss you.” then he turned, walking away shaking his head with another large smile, “And there will be a much later, love.”
I sat there gazing out the rain splattered window listening to my music, staring out into nothing but fog (talk about deja vu); thinking about everything that’s happened, starting from the beginning.
Escaping from changes in The Great City, to my mom and I arriving in Ravenstone in early-to-late July which became our new home. I met new people who became my friends as did my mom. I found out that I was chosen by an orb-stone that Marxus possessed, becoming the next Keeper of Secrets and Keys (apparently) keeping all of Ravenstone’s secrets. Both ordinary and magical. And not to mention finding out that there are vampires, lycanthropes and dragons. It still hasn’t been confirmed there’s a creature from the black lagoon or the crawling eye though. That would definitely be something to keep secret.
In late September to early October, I was taken on a simple journey which turned out to be anything but simple; becoming a wild and crazy ride through the Scottish border where Marxus pretended to be a professor of a GEOGRAPHICAL EXPEDITION. We traveled through to a town with no name where Marxus left us; almost to be eaten by people...who eat other people, then escaped going by an insane plan that I came up with which worked...with the help of watching too many movies. After escaping with our lives, we ventured into the Ben Nevis Mountains where I entered through a cave holding dangerous traps that almost killed me and Erik; which is where I gave him my blood to save his life, which he now distrusts me because of it, only to realize that it was just a magical obstacle course.Testing my will and strength, they eventually led me to a cavern where I encountered a strange old man who was either a warlock, an oracle or a seer. There I received a rock. A rock that turned into my beloved Abraxas who has the abilities to do things I’ve yet to encounter and is also a Zyphyn…or shapeshifter; taking the form of anything but a human. After that chaotic experience we had to fight a group of Hunters that managed to catch Axeon. We fought them which was my first confrontation where I killed a person. That was the first time I’ve ever killed anyone but it was justified. And would do it again if needs be.
Take a deep a breath then exhale with a sigh.
We returned to Ravenstone in mid October just in time for their Halloween festival which is when I witnessed the lycans going through their monthly transition. But unfortunately the festival was canceled but still celebrated in Marxus’ memory, as that was the day we lost not just the wizard and Keeper of Ravenstone, but my friend.
And to top it off, he left me the legacy of this magnificent place and wealth, being my duty to protect it in any way possible for it’s now my home. Also, Marxus appeared to me last night, giving me the last Keeper’s item. The LA TECLA (key) tattoo on the inside of my right arm below my elbow; a four inch skeleton key with a cross blended within the head.The tattoo burned into my skin as he held my right arm.
“There. Now you have everything you need to become the Keeper. If you need me, just call my name and I’ll be there.” were his last words before disappearing.
Staring at the tattoo, I wondered, if maybe that was the real Marxus or the impostor that had appeared many times before. Hard to tell but I’d doubt the impostor would gift me with something relating to my position. But, who knows?
Now November and my mom and I are on our way to venture with fellow Wiccans somewhere in Ireland to learn things that could be very useful in the future. I don’t know how long our trip will last, but I do know for sure that when we return, I’ll have more knowledge, benefiting not just myself as Keeper; but for Ravenstone.
Also too, I’ll have plenty of stories to tell my friends, I’m sure. But the last thought of the best thing that’s happened along the way among everything that flashed through memory, was the day I bumped into Erik. Oops, don’t let him hear me admit that!
But the most important thing I have to say about this experience, is that I’ve learned to truly accept my demonic nature which is why when we’re in Ireland, I’m going to commit to controlling it. How exactly, is beyond me but we’ll just have to see.
The ferry traveled around the Isle of Castillion toward Ireland, for we could see its beauty ahead. Turning around to view our island, it vanished within its protective fog. After four and a half hours, we arrived in Dublin’s Harbor at Dun Laoghaire. From there it was another two hour ride stretching 140 miles until we reached a 17th century castle; rented for the length of time needed. Climbing off the bus, we were greeted by the High Priest and Priestess.
Here we go again; my mom and I on another adventure together with our pets. To another place. Other than being surrounded by Wiccans, I wonder what mysteries this place holds.
More vampires and lycans? Or shapeshifters and Big Foot? Who knows, but it’s just another new place, new stories and another adventure to learn newer things. But as I walked the grounds leading inside the castle, I began missing Ravenstone and my friends. With everything that my mom and I have endured, and everything that I’ve come to learn, I see now that my journey is just beginning.
Standing among the thick forestry surrounding the Irish castle, stood Molock; once again watching. He smiled as he knew this was just the beginning of my true training.
“Now…it’s my turn.” he whispered then glanced around at his surroundings, “Who are you talking to, Molock? There’s no one here but the trees. You’re ancient yes, but you’re not that ancient. Well, anyway…” he gazed in my direction once more, “we’ll meet again soon, my lovely…very soon, indeed.” then he released a cheerful laugh before disappearing.