Ladislav’s library is exactly what one might expect from an ancient vampiric history-keeper. Ornate, huge, domineering. Huge ceilings, thousands upon thousands of books, decor that would make the Pope blush but of course, no windows. From the outside, rather comically considering the mega-Cathedral look of the interior, the place looks like nothing more than an old shabby warehouse.
And so here we are in this magnificent place finally having found the right reference book to tell us about The Cross of Caine.
On the ride over Opie explained it all to me:
Put basically The Cross Of Caine is supposedly capable of entrapping the souls (And therefore the power and strength) of a vampire or vampires and releasing them given the right ritualistic circumstances. The legend goes that Seth, that legendary uber-vamp, gathered some of the most powerful vampires together when the Spanish Inquisition got too uppity and sealed their spirits in the Cross to be released at a time when vampires were more conspicuous again. The legend is a little fuzzy about how exactly the power would be released again, legends are funny that way, but from the bits and pieces we’re looking at in this over-glorified fairy tale book it looks like the souls of those concealed in the cross will be transferred to the recently deceased. A fresh dead body maybe? Or a newly sired vampire? Who knows. Not important really, we’re just here to retrieve the damn thing, if it even exists and lug it back to Scotland where we’ll find it a nice little spot on the mantel between the Sword of Agnarth (Supposed to give the bearer the strength of ten men, in reality - just an unwieldy piece of rusting trash) and the Chalice of Ill Fate (One sip of blood kept in the chalice was meant to kill your future nemesis - to be fair we can’t really prove that didn’t work, I suppose).
All that’s important to me is where the damn thing is and even that doesn’t matter that much. I’m more here for the journey, for the sake of doing something.
As I’ve mentioned before - I don’t believe in all this Ancient Vampiric Power horse-shit.
Every civilization, vampires being no exception, look at their grandiose past as if the present is a mere pile of excrement that’s been left over from a glorious world long gone. More idiotic than that - they all try and convince you that not only has this glorious world gone by but it will happen again! Fancy that! We all just happen to be born in the piss filled “in between glory” times when everything sucks and everyone just wishes we were someplace else… Well, put that way it does have a certain narcissistic appeal to it but that doesn’t make it any more believable. The Ancient Vampiric Power, Seth, Caine and the silly cross that’s meant to ‘restore’ us is all just Heaven, Hell, God, Satan shit. The same old crap. Lies built on lies built on lies to try and make us believe in something a little more important than ourselves, to keep us going nuts or something? I don’t know.
Well anyway, there I go into another little thought tangent while Opie is trying to tell me something about Romania.
“Romania,”, Opie repeats “The book seems to imply that the Cross was in Romania when Seth sealed the souls in it but it was moved.”
“Not sure…”, he says while scanning through the pages of a much smaller book he must have acquired while I was daydreaming. “Paris. It looks like. At some point the Inquisition seemed to move a lot of stuff to a fortified location in Paris but… yes. I remember.”
He closes the book, he’s obviously relying on that internal photographic fucking memory of his.
“If memory serves me a large number of items were removed from Paris by The Toridi Clan.”
The Toridi were a group of vampires from London who emphasized the elegance and majesty of vampirism. They rarely spoke and dressed as though it was the 17th century.
“So the Cross is probably in London?”, I ask
“Most likely, but I doubt the Toridi know they have it or we’d have heard something”
So, another plane ride towards home will actually take us closer to our goal. What a tremendous waste of time this little trip to Eastern Europe was…
Somehow though, I feel like there is something here. Someone watching us. Someone that’s been following us since we got here…
But it must just be the creep factor of the old dusty looking building.
“Right, off to London!”, I pipe up