298 A Canon of Chaos I
The room turned to look at Aegin, who, to his credit, did not shrink back from the gazes.
"I am a Vampire looking for my way in the world," said Aegin simply, "I got into some trouble with the Holy Order where I was, and decided to come to a place where their influence was not so deeply felt. Since coming here, I have only learned more about myself and my path's origins. More than I ever thought was possible. If you will allow me, I do wish to know as much as you can tell me of the Chaos God and his paths".
"You do not know already?" asked another female elder, looking somewhat confused. She looked to her fellow elders, silent communication passing between them before she turned back to him, "Then if knowledge is what you desire, Aegin of the Chaos, I will gladly tell you what I have come to know. But your understanding will be vastly different from my own," said the Elder.
"You do not fear the fact that I am a Vampire?" asked Aegin.
The Elder shook her head seriously, "No, the cost you pay may be inescapable on your path, but it does not define your character".
Aegin was silent, and Rima turned to look at him, surprised that he was not speaking up. He was still, more so than Rima had ever seen him. She turned to the Elder, "Perhaps later this evening, Aegin is used to sleeping during the day, after all".
The Elder smiled warmly, "Of course. My name is Cara, you may seek me out at my home near the fields. It is the Bein with the red canvas".
Rima nodded in thanks, her hand reaching out to touch Aegin to offer him some form of comfort. Surprisingly, he flinched.
"Right," he said suddenly, "Excuse me for my rudeness".
Then he vanished in a blast of wind.
Rima looked and Tigin, but he looked just as shocked, he turned back to the chieftain apologetically.
The Chieftain shook his head, "No need for apologies. None of us are on the paths, we cannot understand his burden, but I'm sure he will seek Cara out in his own time. Please, the Visitor Bein is yours to stay in for as long as you need it. I would be honoured if you joined us for the evening meal tonight".
Rima nodded, "Thank you".
Aegin huffed in disappointment. Not at the Elder's words, but at himself. Of course he had known that what Cara had said was right before she had said it, but somehow he'd found himself on a downwards spiral of referring to himself as a monster, as something to fear. Even when Rima and Tigin had accepted him, he'd refused to feed in front of them besides the original incident when he'd thought to terrify them.
Because that was what the Hunger had wanted. Terrified victims to chase.
But the Hunger wasn't him. It wasn't his desires or values as an individual, it never would be. And yet, he had let it define him all the same. He was just like…just like the Other.
Aegin clenched his teeth in frustration. No, this was not how his journey was self-discovery was supposed to go. He was not supposed to sympathise with those that had left him to this fate and abandoned him.
You abandoned them.
I DID NOT!
Aegin punched out at the solid rock beside him. It gave a thunderous crack at the impact and shattered, dust and debris filling the air around him. Aegin sat down in place, holding his head in his hands.
He needed more information. Maybe knowing more would lead him to another path. One that didn't involve the Other. One that was better.
Cara was humming to herself and mixing a herbal soup in a pot over a fire when Aegin finally found the will to look for her and not rampage at her words.
"I apologise for earlier," said Aegin.
Cara just smiled and pointed to the seat opposite her, "As out Chieftain stated after your departure. We cannot understand what you are facing, better to take a moment to yourself than take an alternate path you are more than capable of taking".
She sipped the herbal soup, the smell…it wasn't entirely unpleasant. Aegin wondered what she'd put in it to make it so. She took a ladle and spooned some into a bowl, passing it over to him.
Cara chuckled, "Yes, I am aware, I assure you, this will not taste like dirt to your unique palate".
Aegin eyed her for a moment before he took the bowl, then took an experimental sip. He paused for a moment as his fangs ached in the tops of his gums and his tastebuds sang. Just like he was drinking…
"It is mountain goat blood mixed with some fresh herbs," said Cara as she took a sip of the stuff herself, "Quite nutritious for the skin and my old heart".
Aegin gave a small smile before taking another drink, "Thank you, I did not realise I could drink it like this".
Cara shrugged, "Cold blood or blood from the dead is often not nutritious at all, no, but Litria, a herb we grow here, is quite helpful is preventing it from congealing into goop as it cools. The fresher the blood the better, but heating it and adding Litria helps too".
They descended into an amiable silence as Aegin took periodic drinks, Cara continued to give him more, leaving it at only one bowl for herself.
"Quite the appetite," said Cara, "I always did wonder how much was necessary".
Aegin paused a moment before he replied, "The Hunger never leaves. I had to learn the difference between it be satiated and me being full. The truth is it will never be satiated. But I was full about three bowls ago".
"Ah, I see," said Cara, "I imagine that is why they call your path that of Gluttony, no?"
Cara sighed, "Well, if you desire to know more of Chaos, I can tell you, but perhaps it would be best if you tell me what you do know first".