Tunelul Bacas (1210, 1245)
The Council of Venice
Representative of the Council
Salajan (her horse)
A native Romanian herself from the city of Cluj-Napoca, Carmen Preda was brought up on the folk-tales of supernatural things from her home land. When she was young, she joined the Templars, whom she later expressed an ambivalence towards. She currently works for the Council of Venice as a representative.
She has a vertical scar along the left-side of her face from a previous wound, this wound also caused her to lose her left eye. She also alluded that she met the love of her life during another supernatural encounters.
Carmen is currently tasked by the Council to observe the vampire siege in Transylvania, as well as directing and rallying agents of the secret world against the vampires.
This is not ideal for me, you know, standing back and directing others. To be an observer for the Council of Venice can feel like a mother's punishment. If you call what we do a career, mine began young and with the Templars. They have long ties to old countries. Not necessarily good ties. In some stories they are the defenders, in others the looters.
Either way, where there is a Balaur, there will be a horseman who rides out to face it. Or, in my example, a horsewoman. Blade against darkness, whatever the cost.
Now I only have to look in the mirror to be reminded of the cost. It was the seal on my diplomatic fate. You can wear a scar with pride, but always questions, questions. So in Venice, I sit and take afternoon coffee with all the ladies in oversized sunglasses. My thanks go out to high fashion.
You do not need to hide your power from the Harbaburești. These people know the secret world - not ours, of rules and regulations, but the one they have lived in, every day. Where it is no different from day turning to night.
They are dhampir, Zana-touched, raised by wolves or born under strange stars, every one. I think a few know they would be persecuted by the modern world. The rest simply have no care for it. Fairies that do not believe in humans.
They have no reason to trust us, but we are lucky that now they have no choice. The Council knew there was always danger the town would be discovered...exploited. It was on a list, a long list that gets shorter each year. Nothing was decided, nothing was done. Let us try to live to regret that.
Always some great tragedy that brings me back home. Never to celebrate the spring, for a family wedding, to drink with old friends until the morning. I neglect that life now. Romania is a beautiful country, truly under the watch of saints. I suppose you knew it only for vampires, if you knew it at all? Don't feel bad. This visit will not change your opinion, I fear.
I sensed it was different on my first night back. In the cities, the youth and the drugs and the vampires are mixing to bad effect. Too many disappearances, and they blame the foreigners, mobsters, this Morninglight religion.
Behind it all, the feeling that something, slowly, is breaking apart. And might never be fixed again. It grew stronger the closer I came to Harbaburești. I know the Council cannot act on my feelings. But this valley could be more important than anyone realises.
We make a big deal of folk-tales. One brought me love, it's a sweet story, you know. Another blinded my eye. Not so sweet.
The villagers say the wall of Harbaburești held against the Golden Horde, the Templars, the Soviets. Peaceful resistance. A nice idea.
It is no season for ogres or dragons. The last of them were hunted in my grandmother's grandmother's time.
They [the Templars] have long ties to old countries. Not necessarily good ties. In some stories they are the defenders, in others the looters.
The Council knew there was always danger the town would be discovered...exploited. It was on a list, a long list that gets shorter each year. Nothing was decided, nothing was done.