Wanderings and musings - Mathias' travelogue

Vienna -

Ghosts wander these streets,and they speak to me. They talk of the past, of sins committed and forgotten,of non existent sins I still pay for - they talk to me of forgiveness and redemption.

Shay gave me this journal to describe my trip, to record events and thoughts..it would be a waste to devote so much of it to my need for penintance.

Vienna is as beautiful as I remember it, 200 or so years ago. I haven't been back since..well since things changed. And yet the parks, the buildings...if I take a moment I can almost hear the horses,the bustle of the crowd...Mozart's last opera...

Which brings me back to the event that set me upon the course I travel today. Had she not been killed by..him, had I not given in to my anger and hate, had they not...chosen to exile me...who would I be? Would I have joined Tacharan,met Shay,fallen in love?

No, things happen for a reason...Fate has a plan,unknowable and sublime.

Shay...how I do miss her. I wander Vienna's streets, see the young couples in the cafes, entering the clubs and I think of her. This journey, my quest to find my place in the world - how can I do this without her? I have existed for a millennia, and yet I did not start to live until she came into my life.

I head to Kiev next, and I want Shay there to share it with me.

I will make the call.

Mathias 14 years ago
Kiev -

Although I was not born here, it as dear to me, as near a home as Constantinople is. I grew up listening to tales of it from my parents - its glories and how Vladmir would make a paradise on Earth for the faithful. Tales of bogatyr's and Baba Yaga heard so many times I half expect the crone to jump out some times!

Before I left Vienna I called Shay. I was unsure of what I would say - and yet all nervousness disappeared when I heard her voice. I asked of her family, how everyone was doing. And when I discovered that all was well I heard myself ask if she wanted to come to Kiev...and she agreed!

So now I find myself as giddy as a schoolboy. Not an uncommon feeling when it comes to Shay, if I were to tell the truth. I go soon to await her flight's arrival at the airport, and will try not to pace back and forth. A thousand years old and I get nervous waiting on her - Sweet Jesu, God's sense of humor never ceases to amaze me.

I will write more later..assuming I have time...
Mathias 14 years ago
Kiev -

She is here. And any fears,any doubts or trepidation disappeared the moment I saw her at the airport. Truly she compliments me...for with her here, I feel as if there is nothing I cannot do.

How we managed to remain clothed in the cab is beyond me..but somehow we restrained ourselves. Once in the room though...suffice to say we did not leave for a day or two. While the first hours of our lovemaking were a frenzied,hungry coupling,the later time was spent in slow,wonderful exploration of one another, remembering the past.

When we did manage to leave, I showed her the city that has become as much a home to me as Constantinople or Nachton. We wandered the city, exploring the cafes and nightclubs of Kiev. While it does not compare to Nachton, there is something unique to a Russian nightclub that even the House of Pain cannot capture. Perhaps its the Russian character, I do not know.

I showed her Kiev's beautiful architecture - the palaces, the city gates,and my personal favorite..the churches. Some might say night mutes their beauty,but after so many centuries out of the sun I find them just as beautiful to me. It amazes how accurate the 1500 year reconstruction was - despite the Mongol's attempt to destroy Kiev we still thrive today.

We ended our tour at the stature of St. Vladimir The Great,Baptizer of the Rus. I related to Shay the story of my parents trip to Constantinople, to set up a embassy for Vladimir and how I first came to Kiev, when Constantinople sent an army to destroy the last of the Khazar warlords.

Dawn's light is peaking over the cathedrals as I write this and Shay is asleep next to me. I will join her soon, and for the first time in a while I will rest easy.
Mathias 14 years ago
Constantinople -

Everything comes full circle it seems. In the end, I return where it all began. To the city that gave me life,and blessed me - here I am,dead and damned.

And yet...do the damned love? If I am dead then why do I feel so alive with Shay? I do not know, and I am unsure if I truly want the answer to these musings.

This journey,my quest if you will, was one of self discovery. Who am I? Not only in the larger scale,but in the details...who am I to Shay? Where do I fit in Tacharan with Ellis gone? Do I even belong with them?

If I do not know the complete truth, I at least have a better idea. I am a man, who loves a woman. The woman,loves me. I am a killer...it is who I am, it is what I do. I have fought for over a thousand years and yet it does not define me. I am more than that, and yet..it is me. I accept that,make peace with my nature. I am Tacharan,for good or ill. They are slayers,killers..as I am - and yet we are also outsiders. Those who do not fit preconcieved notions,ideas - those who believe what they believe and do not accept the chain of "how it is". They are my family,as Shay is my family and almost as much of a home as her arms are to me. Besides,someone has to keep Alec out of trouble!

But enough of my ramblings, I should mention our time here in...well I find it odd to call it Istanbul now. Istanbul,Constantinople,Byzantium - no matter what it is called it will always be The City to me. It is a living breathing creature and I love it. More than that I love showing it to Shay - sharing my life with her. We wandered the streets, enjoying streetside vendors of kebab. I haggled with Arab merchants over all sorts of items that Shay adores. I had forgotten how much fun it is to just haggle with someone,like non lethal combat almost.

Many were the architectual marvels we saw - though being nocturnal we did not get to see much usually. Galata Tower, destroyed when crusaders sacked the city in 1204. Kız Kulesi,the Maiden's Tower - we had dinner our first night in the restaurant there, the sweet mist from the Bosephorus enveloping us. The summer palaces at Dolmabahçe and Küçüksu.

But two places standout for me here.
Hagia Sophia,Church of the Holy Wisdom, seat of the Orthodox Church in my youth. The finest example of Byzantine architecture, its central dome and frescoes are known the world over. The Hagia Sophia has suffered damage over the years,both natural and man made - the Ottoman covered many of the fresco,including the Christ Pancrator, with various illuminations praising Allah and Mohamed. The restoration has been slow, and yet I find it beautiful,even if it is not exactly as I remember it. I showed her the little grottoes and hidden corners where I hid and played as a youth, and more..intimate games when older. When we approached the altar, where I had taken my holy vows so long ago - my heart hammering like a ram against the walls. I could see me, a fresh faced youth,resplendent in armor,not knowing what I was about to face. So young, so zealous - how I wish I had that innocence again!

The Basillica cistern, beneath the city proper - once a place where much of the city's water was stored,and now a place for Constantinople's night population to gather. Interesting how we adapt to our surroundings, I can hardly think of a better place than the cisterns for vampires to congregate. Shay and I (well perhaps more Shay) had a fascinating chat one night with a Gaius Aurelius. He had been born and turned a hundred years before the birth of Christ, and had a perspective on being a vampire that was unique to me.
He did not lament his existence,nor revel in it - to him undeath simply was,much like life was. He had loved,married and watched his wives age. I asked him how he could do this, to watch those he loved die. Gauis looked at me, with almost a sad look and said "Because to be without them was far worse". After that we moved on to less serious topics,discussing and debating history as we both experienced it but what he said stuck with me. Perhaps in running, in keeping myself apart I have been avoiding living and the risks that come.

The night grows bright,- dawn is soon to arrive, Shay is calling me to bed and when we awake, our journey back to Nachton begins. As I complete this entry, I am reminded of a song from some song from a movie I saw with Shay. I believe it was a re telling of the King Arthur myth - not too bad really. But near the beginning a woman sings a song that seems to fit this journey.

Land of bear and land of eagle
Land that gave us birth and blessing
Land that called us ever homewards
We will go home across the mountains

We will go home
We will go home
We will go home across the mountains

We will go home, singing our song
We will go home...

Hear our singing
Hear our longing
We will go home across the mountains

We will go home
We will go home...

((Mathias out))