Thanks for sticking with us through an early Spring Break. I took a break from writing FPMC to spend time with my family as well as develop the ongoing story of my (World of) Warcraft fan-fiction. Check it out if you’re so inclined.
When you last left us, it was the year 1995. In a tucked away corner of Astoria in Queens, New York is a secretive school of magic that masquerades as a group home for orphans.
On an ill-fated Tuesday in February, the Headmistress Myrtle Marscapone’s sickly son Kevin was left unsupervised in the house – except for his father vampiricly slumbering in the basement. Without the guidance of a chaperone, Kevin answered the doorbell and was abducted by the followers of the wicked Doctor Trelaine. Violently subdued, he was taken to the Doctor’s underground laboratory where he was imprisoned against his will.
When the boy’s mother discovered her missing son, she alerted her husband immediately that evening upon his rise. Myrtle scryed for him but the information only confirmed their worst fears: someone took the boy from their home.
Vincent drove across Queens to notify his friend Vladislaus Straud that his son had been stolen. The pair agreed on a likely suspect: Trelaine, a man Vincent described as Straud’s old rival. They formed an alliance dedicated to the effort of righting this wrong.
The interest that the Doctor Trelaine showed in Kevin proved to be more than academic as he settled into a routine of talking with the boy over his evening meal. They discussed a number of topics ranging from the nature of magic, the existence of aliens and monsters, and the cultural differences between the prime material plane and the Doctor’s homeworld. A number of times the discussion wandered toward the personal and Kevin displayed an unwavering loyalty to his mother and father, despite his lonely upbringing.
Practically a world away from the New Jersey laboratory, the Marscapones and Straud continued their goal of restoring Kevin to his home. The pious Count witnessed a vision wherein it became knowledge that Kevin answered the door for a stranger. This information furthered their suspicion of the primary suspect Trelaine and encouraged the worried Myrtle to repeat her attempts at scrying for information.
Days became weeks of captivity for Kevin. The Doctor drew attention to Kevin’s irregular set of teeth and offered to use his ability as a fleshshaper to set them straight. In duress, he accepted. But in an unforeseen consequence of his magical parentage, the Doctor is unable to move the mature teeth and the boy is left with an empty gum.
Meanwhile, Vincent made apologies to his old friends, a mysterious faction of wolves known to him from the time before his marriage. They asked nothing in return except a promise of friendship and camaraderie. The renewed connection gives the trio a feeling of hope that their aim may indeed come true.
Today Kevin is alone with his thoughts, repeating over the myth of the Vampire and wondering if what Trelaine has said is true – that his father was not just a Vampire, but also the Prince of Elysion, the timeless realm of Dream. There is no way to know either way while he lays captive, so he flips on the television in an attempt to drown out his paranoia and regrets.
Back in Queens, Vincent is careful not to rest on his laurels and think that the odds are anything but overwhelming. No, he must have every advantage if he’s to have any hope of regaining his lost son.
The last I spoke to Vincent, he was optimistic about his planned siege of Trelaine’s facility. He had sought the favor of the wolves and planned to use their natural ability as pathfinders to lead him to the necessary plane. It was good, and my heart was gladdened to see the spirits of the Wild happily employed. It was also advantageous that he’d found a lead to walk between these planes. That was something I could not do.
Vincent was not native to Earth but he was one of few I could trust to navigate that diplomacy. I had no way to confirm he was who he claimed to be but nevertheless I respected his strength of character.
My only reservations concerned the social isolation he and his wife had imposed upon their young son. I could not know the pressures they were under to exclude him from their academy. I had no way of knowing in what way the Gods were involved with the Marscapone family. So I reserved judgement. But I knew I did so with reservation. I had the basest feeling that children deserved freedom and I chafed to see it denied to him.
To enact his revenge, Vincent wanted explosives. I didn’t like it, innately, but I felt this injustice perhaps warranted the use of great force. I would not make them, I would not trade them, but…
I had a friend.
// THE MARSCAPONE SCHOOL OF MAGIC //
Under the silence of the midnight hour, I knock on the lower level entrance to the home of the Marscapones.
STRAUD. IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU.
PLEASE COME IN.
I move out of the way to cease blocking view of my companion, a bizarre-looking man with large round ears and a severe brow, hairless and ruddy in the glow of streetlamps.
THIS IS MY FRIEND, QUARQ.
He’s shorter than Vincent but every bit as self-possessed.
PLEASED TO MAKE YOUR ACQUAINTANCE.
I back away and the two men join in handshake.
I’M AN OLD BUSINESS PARTNER OF THE DEAR COUNT.
WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, PLEASE DO COME IN.
MY WIFE IS UPSTAIRS DOING SOME WORK BUT I’LL CALL HER DOWN AND WE CAN TALK.
I take a moment to provide what I hope is a useful aside.
VINCENT AND HIS WIFE MYRTLE RUN AN ORPHANAGE OF SORTS.
FOR CHILDREN OF TALENT.
MY OH MY.
YOU’RE MARRIED TO A MAGE?
THAT I AM.