A creak resounded through the great hall as Michael pushed open the double doors of the entrance and marched triumphantly inside, the rays of the evening sunlight filtering in behind him as he did.
He couldn’t help the self-satisfied grin that spread across his lips as he took in the sight before him. Festningen, a pride and joy in its own rights; and it belonged to him.
Festningen, titled from the Norwegian word for fortress, was actually a castle built in the late tenth century; at least that was what the brochure Michael read had said. The castle was supposed to have been constructed by a party of the men who accompanied Leif Erikson, perhaps even under the supervision of the Scandinavian legend himself, when he came onto the land of Vinland; a part of which the small Canadian town of West Harbour, Newfoundland where the castle was located was said to be.
Of course, Michael didn’t believe for one second that the Scandinavians had actually being the ones who had raised Festiningen up to the standards it now boasted of; and the evidence proved him right too.
Set high on a hill, the castle was made of stone walls which could only have been designed and constructed in an era much later than Leif’s. There were also arts, decorations and architectural designs in various places in it that suggested English, French, Italian, and perhaps even some hints of Spanish ownerships over the years. So, while Leif, or any of his men, might have been the first to lay down the foundation which turned into the castle Festiningen, they couldn’t exactly have been the ones who built it.
Festningen, with its three floors, housed over thirty rooms— those discovered, at least— four great halls, six minor halls, six dining halls, twelve ballrooms, and a catacomb of impressive design where the word that later became the castle’s titular name was found carved into a stone; presumably by the original settlers before it sank into the ground on which the catacomb passed through.
But tricky history aside, Festningen really did live up to its name. It was a fortress; and one which the people of West Harbour, whose town laid at and around the foot of its hill, took great pride in; and a majority of their revenue in tourism from too. Well, they did until Michael bought it from the town’s mayor earlier that evening, that is.
Truth be told, it wasn’t the rich historical background or the impressively massive structure of the castle or perhaps even the familiar connection it had to its neighbour-inhabitants that had drawn the its new owner to it. Michael Holger purchased Festningen for one reason, and one reason alone. It was ancient, just like he was.
Thing is, what could never have been guessed about the tall, almost giant, blonde-haired, black vintage suit and jacket-wearing man who stood in the empty hall of the stone castle was that he was in actuality a thousand-year old vampire.
Although looking just about thirty years of age, Mikael Odinson Holgersen was born in 865AD— just a few decades before the castle was constructed, in fact— in small obscure village that was located in the now part of the Kingdom of Norway. And for all of his millennium years, he had lived in Europe; and in quite an infamous manner too, it had to be said.
Thing is, Mikael was one vampire that every supernatural being on the European continent knew and was more than happy to stay out of his path. He had never shown any care for the lives of anyone be it mortal or immortal; or for their laws. He did whatever he wanted and neither the vampires nor the vampire slayers whose main job was to put down the undead children of night, especially the rogue ones, had ever been able to stop him; and they really did try. He was just a force of nature that no one could control; and even worse, that no one could kill.
However, as the years went by and his one thousandth sunk deeply in, Mikael grew tired of it all. As interesting as his infamy was to him in the beginning because of the dread and reverence it accorded him, it had grown to become much more of a bother later on; and it wasn’t just the reputation itself that bothered him; he couldn’t care less for it or the people who gave it to him, truth be told.
But as it turned out, it had also become almost impossible for Mikael to shy away from attention regardless of how unwanted it was. He was the target of every vampire slayer in Europe; and even the vampires themselves weren’t helping the matter matter either as most of them now held on to the belief that killing him was their sure way to guaranteed fame.
So, both mortals and immortals with half a skill came up against him every day of his life; and although he had proven it more than a gazillion times that none would ever succeed in vanquishing him, the list of those that quested for it still grew longer by the second.
It was in that moment that Mikael decided to drop everything— first changing his birth name to the modernised one he now held— and moving to the one place where he knew his infamousness wouldn’t have carved so deeply into; the New World.
Aided by the tales he compelled out of a group of mortals who travelled the world, Michael learnt of West Harbour. It was a small town whose unremarkable lifestyle and quiet nature was just what the ancient vampire believed he needed for his supernatural retirement.
That was why Michael had arrived in the sleepy little town earlier that day and was more than satisfied with the first purchase he just made; the castle.
Festningen had being a fortress to many over the years; and now, it was his too.