In the year 1961, after 43 years of attempting reconciliation between the multitudes of known preternatural beings, Queen Eliana of the Sidhes, a race of faeries few were familiar with, hosted a lavish banquet where she received the delegates representing most of her invitees. Missing from the event, however, were the emissaries for the vampires and werewolves. Disappointed by their absence, she was heartened however to see the other races had accepted her invitation. Held on the Isle of Rum, not far from her own people’s magically hidden island, the Victorian mansion sat atop a cliff overlooking the turbulent coastal waters across the coast from Scotland. The day was Friday, September 15, and the weather was dismal, as Hurricane Debbie approached fast from the Azores in a steady east-northeastward direction.
Winds had picked up early in the day, casting some doubt as to whether anyone would attend the banquet at all. That her guests did come, said a lot about their intentions. One by one, the faerie, witch, immortal, elemental and demon delegates made their way to the meeting place. Lesser known races, those that she had even all but forgotten, such as the gnomes and goblins, arrived as well, having heard of the gathering. Her intent was to entertain them that evening, and then, over the weekend, seclude them within the Victorian mansion in order to come to an understanding. Over the course of the following two days, the effects of the hurricane on the island were minimal, as it struck Ireland instead, moving towards Norway. Their meetings progressed uninterrupted by outside influences, or from any internal arguments.
On that weekend, with all those present participating, the laws and regulations for their peaceful coexistence and the setting up of a governing body of representatives to administer the Accords, were drawn up and signed. The largest groups, the faeries, witches and immortals would each have their own representative at the table, with two assistants picked by each to aid them. The lesser groups combined would vote for another four representatives from any of their races to represent them. Each of those chosen would be allowed one assistant each. These representatives would have a mandate for eight years, after which they would be replaced by one of their new delegates. At the beginning of the Accords going into force, the governing body was made up of seven representatives with a total of ten assistants. The name given to the Council was the Guardians of the Accords. Every four years, the governing Council of representatives would vote one of their members to lead the Council. The leader’s primary role was to uphold the peace, settle disputes and most of all end any ongoing wars that threatened to expose them to humans. The most pressing business had been the centuries’ old war between the vampires and werewolves. Their fighting threatened all preternatural beings. Attempts to gather the two factious sides and come to some sort of détente were rebuffed. Their hatred for each other ran deep.
Early in 2002, the foresight of one vampire and one werewolf, neither having been involved in the war, fought hard for peace that was finally achieved between the two races. The two who had helped broker the end of hostilities were named to the Council, bringing with them their own two assistants. That brought the Council membership to nine representatives and fourteen assistants. Since that time, peace had reigned, and the Council had achieved much towards equalizing the sharing of power. Disputes were rare. Administrative issues over conflicts, policing, record keeping and other duties were passed onto the newly created office named the Agency Protecting and Preserving Every Adjoined Race, or APPEAR for short. Having its offices in New York, it remained neutral, far away from Florence where the Council had its own vast complex.
Finally, in 2006, within APPEAR, which found its administrative duties growing beyond the scope it had originally been tasked with, a new subdivision was created for the investigation of crimes perpetrated by those bound by the Accords. Known as the Agency’s Division Resolving Otherworldly Infractions and Transgressions, it came to be known as the offices of ADROIT. There, teams of investigators, analysts and lab technicians solved crimes ranging from the petty to heinous. Their leader, a powerful warlock, with the ability to control all four elements, guided, mentored and led his colleagues by example.
Immortal Detective – An Introduction to Elleanor Stone
For men may come and men may go / But I go on forever. (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
Elleanor was born the 24th of May in the year 270 A.D., into a world that was besieged and under constant threat by barbarians known as the Goths. The city-state of Athens, the largest city nearest to her home, had been sacked just three years before her birth. Growing up, Elleanor thought not of the dangers of the advancing enemy, nor the everyday struggles her parents faced to survive. Not that she was completely unaware of their situation, but both her parents shielded her from most of the hardships they faced on a daily basis. Even had she known the full extent of their worries, there was not much she could have done about it. Besides, at that young age, like most other young girls, she was more interested in playing with friends, running wild, and falling in love. At just twelve years old, she had fallen hard. Davos, who was unnaturally tall at almost six feet, with shoulder length dark blond hair, piercing blue eyes, and a herculean physique, owned the land adjacent to hers. Four years older than her, she could not remember a time when she would not follow him around, clinging to his every word. Elleanor knew he would eventually have to take wife, and she dreaded that day. After all, he was much sought after by fathers willing to trade their daughters for his harvests and livestock. That he chose none other than Elleanor, whose family possessed close to nothing to offer as a dowry, caused consternation and anger amongst the neighboring farmers. As their wedding day approached, maligning rumors arose over Elleanor’s virtue. She offered Davos a way out, to renege on the deal reached with her father, but he stood true to her. Elleanor and Davos were married in the fall of her fifteenth year.
The next year she bore their son Isidor, and two years later they completed their family with the arrival of a second son, Nikias. Their life together was joyous, until, that is, Aphrodite entered the picture. Unknown to Elleanor, the goddess had become obsessed with Davos. Aphrodite grew more and more irate at Davos’s resolve to honor his vows to his wife. For a full year Aphrodite tempted, cajoled and attempted to bribe Davos into giving in to her demands. When none of her endeavors proved fruitful, she resulted to threats against Elleanor and his children. All the while, Elleanor had no idea of her husband’s dealings with Aphrodite. If she had, would she have advised him against angering the goddess further? Vexed, Aphrodite punished Elleanor, casting the blame on the young woman for not getting what she wanted. By making Elleanor immortal, she cursed Davos into watch his wife retain her youth while he aged. The changes Elleanor experienced went well beyond simply having her life prolonged. Along with immortality she found her senses had also become more acute. Seeing clearly as far away as half a mile, hearing snippets of conversations from distant places, she soon discovered that her strength had also increased. Realizing she could beguile truthfulness and entice others to her will came much later. The most disturbing of all these changes was being able to see spirits. The first time one communicated with her, she nearly passed out.
Cursed with being forever twenty-one, Elleanor made the best of the situation, never casting blame on Davos, and did her best not to make him feel regret. As long as Davos appeared youthful, their life went on as if Aphrodite had never entered their lives. They had many years, happily watching their children grow, loving each other, before his anger manifested. The ravages of age drew out in Davos a perverse need to hurt Elleanor. Seeing men follow her with their eyes, trying to catch her attention, Davos accused his wife of enjoying, even eliciting, their interest. Violence had sprung from her once gentle, loving husband. Elleanor bore his heavy hand, hiding the bruises from their children, believing for the longest time that everything was her fault. Upon his passing, at 62 years old, finally free, unable to hide how age had forgotten her, she abandoned her home, her grown sons, their wives and her grandchildren and sought anonymity within the capital of the Roman Empire. The vast city of Rome, overburdened with the masses of refugees fleeing to its perceived riches, gave her the perfect place to blend and lose herself. The year was 314 A.D. Elleanor lived in Rome for 40 years, attached to the household of a rich roman merchant named Appius Drusus. The merchant, an old father like figure, took her under his wing, giving her room and board, while she kept his books and managed his household. With his wife dead, and no children, Appius lived alone, on a property just outside the city limits. Upon his death in the summer month of August 327 A.D., he surprisingly bequeathed Elleanor all his riches and possessions. From that moment on, men courted her, eagerly assuming she could easily be relieved of all she had inherited. One of the most persistent of them was a devious senator named Quintus Cassianus, who would not easily give up.
Life, though, had a different path for Elleanor. Had she believed in finding love again? Elleanor would have sworn that part of her life ended with the death of her husband. It was in May, in the year 331 A.D., when walking through the Agora with her helper Penelope that she spotted a slave being sold. Something about him drew her to the auction. The man, a six foot, strong, deeply muscled specimen, appeared feral and wild. What possessed her to bid on him, paying an exorbitant amount in the process, to this day she could not explain. Nonetheless, he became hers. Elleanor had never adhered to slavery. One of her first acts upon inheriting Appius’s five slaves was to free them. Even free as they were, they chose to remain with her out of loyalty. Imagine this man’s surprise when after following her home, she prepared the papers to free him. His name was Brant Ankar, and where he would go once he left, Elleanor never thought to ask. She believed she had seen the last of him when he left her home that day. But, return he did, and, not a moment too soon. Later that same night, Quintus sent masked men to enter Elleanor’s home and threaten her to submit to him. It was at that moment that Brant appeared to save her. With nowhere else to go, he had decided to return, to remain under her employ, if Elleanor would have him. What could she say but yes to his request after he so valiantly rescued her? It did not hurt that she found herself completely taken with him. Within a fortnight they were lovers. Whatever she had imagined as love in her youth, it paled in comparison to what she then felt for Brant. Getting closer to him, giving in completely to her love for him, she stayed with him for another 23 years. It was only a remark he made, that she looked as beautiful as the day he met me, that made her realize it was time to go. Remembering how Davos changed towards her, fearing the same of Brant, she took as much wealth as she needed to survive, leaving the rest, along with the property to Brant, and stole away in the night.
Elleanor made her escape to the north, reaching Denmark in the summer of 355 A.D. There, she lived alone, in isolation for close to 57 years, only venturing as far as the nearest trading village. The times were harsh, and only the need for companionship forced her out of her self-imposed exile. October 412 A.D. found her in the coastal town of Boulogne. Rome had fallen. Life was unpredictable. Boulogne only held appeal to her for the multitude of ships leaving to make their way to England. Elleanor took a ship London, where after seeing the dangers and harsh reality of the Brits, she headed north through Scotland to isolation again. She remained in different parts of Scotland until the year 825 A.D. With raids from the Danes coming in succession, the danger forced her to return to mainland Europe. The towns, the countries, she passed through, are too numerous to mention. She never stayed too long in any of them to form an attachment. For more than one thousand years she longed for death. She had given up hope, become a recluse, when she met a man who brought her back into the world. Gydion Drabek became her mentor, her friend, her father. He met her in the summer of 2007, in a remote town in Austria, where he was investigating the death of a renowned warlock. Elleanor’s awareness of other preternatural beings was not lacking. She just never thought to acquaint herself with any. Gydion, a master warlock in command of all four elements, introduced her to the world he lived in.
The A.D.R.O.I.T offices (Agency’s Division for Resolving Otherworldly Infractions and Transgressions) where he worked were governed by The Guardians of the Accords. The inner workings of the governing body need their own introduction at a later time. Suffice to say, it was not long before Elleanor followed Gydion to New York where she joined the agency, becoming a lead investigator under his tutelage. For the next eleven years, she dealt with otherworldly crimes and misdemeanors. Elleanor is now on her most perplexing case. A young female werewolf has been murdered. Suspicion, hatred, between vampires and werewolves, runs deep. Having only recently halted their centuries-old war, finding out a vampire was responsible could cause a new conflict to erupt. It would be remiss to not mention one other fact. It seems Brant is alive and in New York. What to make of it? Will their paths cross again? Find out in Sudden Shock coming out in September 2018.
There are many myths on how Aphrodite came to be. Was she born from the foam created by Uranus’s genitals being cast into the sea by Cronus, or was she the daughter of Zeus and Dione? She is mentioned as being both the consort of Ares, as well as the wife of Hephaestus. Almost always accompanied by Eros, the God of lust and sexual desire, Aphrodite is portrayed as nubile and immensely desirable. Aphrodite is said to have had many mortal lovers. From the legendary Adonis to lesser known men, she could be quite generous with her offerings if pleased. On the other hand, her jealousy and vindictiveness at being spurned by men, or having her beauty questioned, have produced many tales. More on Aphrodite: Wikipedia
For Elleanor Stone, the repercussion of her husband not submitting to Aphrodite’s attentions, has led to centuries of isolation. Cursed with immortality, Elleanor has watched everyone she has ever loved die, until she discovers, with the exception of one man. A man who she abandoned and who now wants nothing to do with her.
But, if immortality has taught Elleanor anything, it is that time, something she has plenty of, can heal all wounds, and that what may be impossible today could come to fruition tomorrow.
Coming September 2018