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Nighttime. Dreamtime. The hours when the demons of the mind could take hold, their cold gras firm until morning. The hours when the human soul abandoned its struggle against the maddness of this world, and the dark things that lurked in the corners of the human heart could take form at last. - Crown of Shadows by C.S. Friedman


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Long before the tragedy that befell the land of Ayenee struck, the realm was plunged into civil war. Various clans, nations, and races battled fiercely for power, glory, and most importantly: prestige. The exact details have been obscured by the passage of time, however the oral histories have persisted. It is said that the ancient races were hunted to the brink of extinction: vampires, dragons, and phoenixes. While it is unknown if any Phoenixes survived, the numbers of vampires and dragons dwindled. After the slaughter of her family Julienne retreated to the snowy, isolated mountains high above the planes and valleys of Ayenee. Spared from execution during this violent transition of power, she slumbered peacefully, deep in cave on one of those remote peaks. Awoken only when a sonic boom rocked the earth, powerful enough to make it to her ears, and she was drawn out of hiding to investigate. At the time she had no idea how much time had passed or what had become of the world she grew up in. Eventually stumbling onto Blackflame Manor, she met Lucien within moments of entering the structure. Even if the interaction was brief -- something inexplicable happened between them. It could have been any number of things: drawn by the strange auras of the other, the unnatural sets of eyes they each possessed… Growing ever more curious about the clan Julienne continued to return to the manor. After revealing her true heritage to Lucien, a test of trust, she quickly learned that divulging that information could have proved deadly. The Blackflame’s could have taken her prisoner; harvesting her body for its resources until there was nothing left but the powerful soul residing within. Dragons being known and feared for their size, physical prowess and magical abilities; these creatures being among the most rare and powerful creatures left in Ayenee, could prove a powerful supply, to anyone. Eventually, Lucien claimed her heart in a haze of drunken passion and safeguarded her secret. It wasn’t until meeting his mother, Midori, that it became clear they had no intentions of letting Julienne go, one way or another. Regardless of this, Lucien had secured her loyalties with ease; realizing just how deep her feelings for the Prince of Blackflame ran. Some time after it was uncovered that Lucien’s half sister had procured the truth about the mysterious creature dating her half brother. This detail was carelessly passed, by Dawn, onto a man with a profound hatred of dragons. When knowledge of this got back to Lucien, he took immediate action, luring his sister into a false sense of security and cutting out her tongue with a cigar cutter. After enchanting the lump of flesh so that it would not grow back until the curse was broken, Julienne walked into the middle of the scene, catching just enough of the conversation to hear Dawn say: “isn’t the only good dragon a dead dragon, their blood and insides harvest for much more fun things?”. She could assume the rest, the girl to be forever referred to as Traitor. As soon as Dawn departed to nurse her wounds, the mood changed very suddenly; Lucien dropped to one knee before Julienne, producing the freshly stolen tongue of his sister and presented it to her as gift, asking her to be his bride. If she had any doubts at all, they had all been extinguished in that moment, heartily accepting Lucien’s proposal.


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Throughout the whole vast shadowy world of ghosts and demons here is no figure so terrible, no figured so dreaded and abhorred, yet dight with such fearful fascination, as the vampire, who is himself neither ghost nor demon, but yet who partakes the dark natures and possesses the mysterious and terrible qualities of both. -Reverend Montague Summers, 1928

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