Malik Journal Entry – January 14th 1403,
This new House of Basarab from Wallachia to the south are particularly eager for the weapons my smiths offer. Being a new nobility without existing partnerships, it was easy to woo them to accept my cities blades. By comparison, the House of Anjou here in Transylvania are old, and tired. The Basarab, being new, hunger for power. They are among the wolves circling the Anjou, and the ones I am throwing my weight behind. Compared to the Dănești, however, they have that critical edge they will need in order to win control.
Prince Mircea has become quite fond of the weapons we have been able to provide him. By supplying the Damascus steel through the Bishop, his weapons are some of the sharpest in these lands. But as we are but a small city and many miles to the north of his lands, our role as his supplier is not yet become noticed by his enemies. I have taken the liberty to personally meet with him and his three sons on several occasions.
One of them, his second son Vlad, strikes me as one to take careful note of. While his older brother seems only eager for combat, Vlad thinks of solutions. If he can defeat his enemy without drawing his sword, he will do so. He has no issue, even at his young age of 7, in using those around him in order to gain power. His brother may be first in line to the throne, but I suspect the crown is not long for that head. Vlad will be my special project, else the Tzimisce get their claws into him first.
True to their word, the Tremere were immensely useful in progressing Lazarus’ studies on the physicality of death. While this new method is still novel, I can see much potential in the approach. I call it Thanatosis, to be more acceptable by the scholars among the Infitiores who prefer their parlance in Greek or Latin. If the Tremere knew what purpose we have in this study, I suspect they would not have granted the boon so easily.
Calling those who learn Thanatosis the Malicine, it has a nice ring to it, does it not?
Having met the Bishops new bride was interesting, but unnerving as well. I resign myself to solitude, for who would wish to haunt the graveyards like a revenant? Also, the ‘gift’ provided was even more unusual. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, however.
It was a rare visit, a nice change from the erratic visits from the Tzimisce and these new strangers the Ravnos and Assamite are infrequent guests. The Assamite’s especially are welcome, for they bring word from back home, and the discussions have opened up the paths needed for what it is I hope to do.
The stockpile of preserved blood is now nearing readiness for the mission I have planned. My kin who remain trapped within Kaymakli by my estimates must have been reduced to no more than 400. Centuries of forced amaranth to preserve oneself would be maddening. The curse which traps them there specifically prohibits those who are the children of seth from entering. It says nothing about the preserved casks, or of mules to carry them. Not freedom, but at least hope.
As for the experiment, Ashur’s little pets the Giovanni who he sought to replace those he trapped, well, the church does not take kindly to even merchant families who are found to be engaging in unholy acts against Allah. While the inquisitions flames did not destroy them utterly in all likelihood, their strength and position will be incredibly reduced. So much for our founder’s new hobby.
My visions have shifted as well. Now the clan crest is blown away as the necromancers burn away in the shadow of the Dragon, and under it five sigil sit. One I recognize as the Lamia, another as the original Cappadocian symbol but, modified, as if redone in a new image. But the other three are unfamiliar to me. I am drawn to one of them, with the appearance of a strange hat. When I look at it closely, it changes form, rising out of the ground and taking true form. But under it, another figure, looking as death itself, like me, forms. Dressed in fine yet strange clothing, he smiles at me, and bows formally as the dragon rises behind him, as if the sun in the east.
Now, I must attend to my guests, as I am playing hostess for the coterie this year for our gathering, and they shall be arriving this evening. I do miss their company, it is lonesome here at times.