Chapter 11: Fifty-Eight Minutes

Selvadorada, William & Morgyn’s House

MORGYN

“Neither he nor William talks about it,” Latimer said, “Just about the only thing I know is that his father spent a long time in vampiric slumber too.”

“Josef?” Lilith gasped, “Grandfather went into vampiric slumber? When? Why?”

“No reason,” Morgyn replied breezily. They could sense their husband’s agitation pouring off of him. Vampires were full of it; their senses and muscles coiled to attack any moment. A relaxed vampire was a falsehood. In all their time, they’d never known a single one to have so blissful an experience as peace. 

William slammed a door. It was their signal, borne by a creature who did not need doors to travel: do not follow me.

“Well,” they glanced at the clock, “It seems 58 minutes is about all the family bonding we can handle. Are you going to be alright, Latty? One of us can come and stay for awhile.”

“No, I don’t think it’s nothin’ I can’t handle. He’s been edgy, and I don’t know why. But it’ll pass. Seeing one of you turn up uninvited will just set him off.”

The mortal wasn’t wrong. Vladislaus despised change and despised surprises. He lived a very tightly controlled existence, and for good reason. “Maybe you can get him out of the house, give yourself a break,” Morgyn suggested.

“Ooh, send him to my conference!” Lilith squealed, “That’ll keep him busy and out of town. Or you could get him to clean out the tower. I’ve been looking for scimitar…”

“I’ll stick with the conference,” Latimer’s eyes darted off to the side, “I don’t think he’s in the mood to be cleaning. I already asked him about your weapon.”

“And?”

“He said no.”

“That’s it? Just no?” Lilith looked annoyed.

“His exact words were: ‘is it the plight of parents everywhere to drag their children’s youthful playthings from home to home, ad infinitum through eternity?'”

“So he still has it,” she nodded, as Latimer signed off. “I’ll come and look for it in a few weeks. I’m mov—reorganizing.”

It was hilarious that Lilith thought no one in the family knew she was being forced out of her house. Morgyn was just waiting for permission to go and use magical persuasion on the university president. Anastasia had already been looking into purchasing the property under an alias. Vladislaus, mad as he was, replied to the group text with: For the love of occult, stop texting me. I will just buy the damn university. Someone find out how much it costs.

Even for a vampire, buying a university was ludicrous. Although, to be fair, there was a chance Vladislaus might already own it, he was briefly married to Princess Cordelia after all.

“Morg-y, before you go, I have to ask you something.”

“Can it not wait, Lily-bear? I have to pretend not to follow my husband and likely deal with some complaint from my surrogate.”

She frowned. “Does my uncle truly intend to hide a baby from the rest of us? Doesn’t he know we can hear Sulis parading through the house on every call?”

Morgyn rolled their eyes. “Hubris is a Straud family trait.” One they were deeply familiar with. Once upon a time, in another world, they’d thought themselves the ultimate puppet master, capable of managing and manipulating everything.

It all came crashing down.

“My problem is with The Ultimate Vampire Tome,” Lilith explained. “Caleb came by with questions and wanted my help. The Sages said the book speaks of something beyond Grand Master Vampire, but it doesn’t mention anything like that. I thought it might be magic. I even tried a revealing spell, and nothing.”

Morgyn yawned, “Then what do you think I can do about it?”

“Caleb remembers seeing it at our house when we were children.”

“Everyone your age saw that in their homes when they were children. Goodley Mather was nothing if not a prolific twit.”

“He said you were all yelling about pamphlet sets and summons. Mother was crying, which must be wrong because mother is,” she started to laugh, “Well, you know how mother is.”

Actually, Anastasia had been crying. Or doing her best approximation of crying, which they all agreed was good enough to fool mortals but not the Sages. It would be up to Ethren to do that, the details of the plan worked out long after Vladislaus had carried Lilith and Caleb up to bed.

And they hadn’t been talking about pamphlet sets and summons, but rather, palimpsests and summoning.

Secrets. Always secrets with this family. Some more important than others.

It was eons of experience that allowed them to maintain a neutral if disinterested expression. “I’ll look into it,” they lied, “But do keep in mind that I’m preparing to have a baby.”   

Outside, Sulis was standing on the patio, a shimmering light above her whispering in a tongue Morgyn had not heard in at least five thousand years.

“I really wish you wouldn’t gossip with the moon,” they frowned, “She’s addicted to drama and impossible to reason with.”

Sulis laughed. “She said you’d say that. She also said ‘time is up.’ When are you going to tell your husband?”

“What would I say? ‘Hi dear, small thing to tell you. I’m the physical form of Untamed Magic, a power so ancient that I’ve existed since the formation of the worlds, which, by the way, there are many of. I’ve ended a few of them, and in another universe, I screwed up so badly that you left me. Do you want to maybe run to the store and get some cheese for our surrogate, a goddess who was once my sworn enemy but is now a dear friend who I helped escape into this world?'”

“I wouldn’t say ‘escaped.’ More like we left a place we weren’t wanted to start over fresh, which we can’t do if we don’t find Janus and keep him from pulling the worlds apart at the seams. Does that book you made work?”

Morgyn didn’t bother to point out that they’d been searching for their brother for over millennia with no luck. Ethren and Faba had too. Well, Ethren was looking. Faba was mainly high out of her mind and whispering about arcane and mischievous magic. 

“It’s a crude device,” they explained, “The Fates would laugh if they saw it. I can’t possibly track all the moving pieces. Unlike them, I don’t even know who all the pieces are. Ethren was right, making it was pure hubris.” 

“We don’t have time for your self-depreciation. You are not who you were before, and it wasn’t hubris that made that book; it was desperation. There’s a difference. As for the Fates? There are three of them, and they are even older than you, so cut yourself a break.”

Morgyn cracked a small smile. “You’ve perfected the art of the pep talk, but the fact remains I’m still in over my head. What would you have me do?”

Sulis grinned, a little of the old chaos lighting her eyes. “Call for backup.” 

“You would suggest that. Likely because it won’t be your insane siblings we’re dealing with. The last thing we need is meddlesome gods bringing their egos and piss-poor problem-solving skills to the battle.”

“Oh come now, Untamed, you know the saying: All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Speaking of which, you know she’s impossible, right?”

They sighed. 

“Gods don’t have alters. The Universe only made one of us; we can’t be duplicated. If the God of Death is still in our old world, then Alice is—”

Morgyn scrubbed an exhausted hand over their face. “I don’t know what Alice is. I suppose I’ll have to find out.”

    8 comments
  • Snow ~
    August 9, 2022

    How dare you take time off from Strauds! I won’t allow it! *joking*

    MORGYN WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKING GORGEOUS

    Ohhh goodness, Morgyn as a parent. Best or worst thing I wonder? We’ll soon find out…Sulis’s rant oh my gosh had me laughing out loud. Darn, William, let a girl cut a worshipper’s throat once in a while, bloody spoilsport! I laughed at the description of Alice with the peeing when she laughed, but hey, Vlad wants Alice for Alice and that’s a good thing because Alice is great < 3

    Who expected Vlad to be so good at yoga? I guess over that long a life you'd amass a whole load of experience in loads of different hobbies though. I absolutely loved Alice letting the sprinklers off on the yoga class XD I really need to see Ethren come into this now…one, because he's so-say the only person who seemingly could understand and 'tame' Vlad. Two, the sheer drama that would ensue. Back to Alice it was nice to see her take him out of the stressful situation to somewhere quiet. Wish everyone was like that instead of 'WHY DID YOU SHOW ME UP' and 'WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE THAT' ugh. Geez, that's not 'dramatics' Vlad, that my dear man is trauma…I hope he can realise that soon. Having lived hundreds of years before anyone gave a sliver of a shit about mental health doesn't help him in that regard. Seems neither of them want to give their pasts away, though I very much Vlad would judge : P

    Yeah, waking up from vampiric slumber for that long would really throw you…especially how quickly things have changed over the last century. It'd feel like waking up in a whole other dimension. As always your machinimas are amazing < 3 OOH I notice Ethren and William there…Still can't wait to see more of Ethren. I already said this earlier but I loooove that puppet master shot. so much Morgyn energy there < 333 I love your Morgyn SO MUCH AAAAAAAAAAAA also I love sulis's snake headband! I'm really excited to see the gods, the 'old ones' and also God of Death will eventually rear his head again, I'm glad you decided to keep all of that stuff in hehehehhe

    OHHH Gwen and her owls, eh? ; ) Ohh my gosh I'm so excited now. Woah, and miss Mad Max comes out of nowhere XD She creeped me out. And that final machinima ;o; did I see a zombie Vlad? And worlds collide…I wonder if Morgyn's mention of multiverse comes in there. Not unless…BBD is actually a literal alternate universe in this story? HMMMMMM I am looking forward to next chapter!

    • feroshgirl
      September 2, 2022

      AHHH After ten thousand years I’ve replied! I’m sorry! I’ve been way behind during this hiatus.

      Sighh, Morgyn truly is gorgeous. And terrifying. I think they’ll make an amazing parent and woe be unto anyone trying to bring harm to their child.

      I love how bloodthirsty this story has made everyone. Like yeah! Why can’t Sulis just drink the blood of her worshippers like nature intended?

      Alice is great! I continue to be delighted by how much we all love her in all her vulnerable, hot mess, relatable glory.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed their yoga trip. I wanted to be clear that Alice is just as unhinged as Vlad is, so they are perfect for each other.

      Rest assured, you are not the only one who wants more Ehtren. And I promise I will deliver very soon!

      Thank you for your compliments about the puppet master shot. It took so stupidly long and I gave up several times lol, but got it to work and I’m so happy with it!

      (squeee yes, many of our old favorite gods are back! I couldn’t stay away. I don’t know what I was thinking)

      Oh you picked up on Gwendolyn and the owls, huh?

      Yes, BBD is a literal alternate universe. So basically hang onto your butt.

  • Dragoncat
    August 23, 2022

    Oooh, very interesting.

    Come on, Vlad, you’ll have to tell her eventually. They’re both hiding secrets from one another and I bet the secrets will all come tumbling down.

    And The Strauds is literally an alternate universe from BBD? I didn’t expect that.

    I wonder if Alice is a normal sim or what.

    • feroshgirl
      September 16, 2022

      I cannot believe I am replying to this comment so late. I’ve been on hiatus and taking a break but trying to check in for comments!

      Lol, Vlad and Alice both seem determined to delay the inevitable. Hehe, “tumbling down” indeed.

      Yes! The Strauds is literally an AU as in, one of the thousand universes Miko ended up creating in her desperation to “fix” the BBD timeline.

      Is Alice a normal sim? ::cue maniacal laughter:: why, I wouldn’t worry about that at all 😈

  • Yimiki
    August 30, 2022

    Hoo boy. Alice and Vlad have reached the stage where being dodgy about questions is no longer intriguing and mysterious, but is starting to bother the other. They’re both holding back and they’re both wishing the other didn’t hold back, though Alice is much more vocal and angry about it than Vlad is. I hope they’ll realise and open up before the relationship blows up in their faces.

    Their family is so dysfunctional but the fact that every single one of them is working on making sure Lilith wouldn’t have to leave her home is really heartwarming. In a weird, stalkery, hush-hush kind of way. Aaaaaand there come the secrets again. Morgyn lying through their teeth even when they know exactly what Lilith is talking about.

    Ooooooh, is that a… what is that? Fifth wall-break? Waaaiiiiit is that Morgyn the previous Morgyn? Our previous Morgyn? From the whatsit?! 😮 I was wondering if Sulis was still a goddess in this story and if not, what she’d be, but oh my, is this what I think it is? It is, isn’t it? It is! That is wild on all kinds of levels. Gah, my head. There’s all kinds of connections here but there’s so much that my brain can’t keep up. Next chapter!

    • feroshgirl
      September 2, 2022

      Wooohoo! Sorry this took so long. I’ve been a hiatus gremlin and way behind on my comments (and reading and everything else but what else is new, eh?).

      Yes! Our two lovesick dummies are tired of secrets which is a problem they could 100% fix if they just opened their mouths and told each other. And I’m sure they’ll do that in a completely calm and mature and reasonable way and not before the whole thing blows up in the face ::evil laughter::

      Jk Jk!

      Yes, The Strauds might be completely dysfunctional and total menaces but they love each other and will fight anyone who threatens their family. Including universities seeking lucrative development deals.

      But yeah, they are are also lying liars who lie to each other all the time.

      THE FIFTH WALL COMES DOWN BABY! Yes, this is the previous Morgyn. You know, the one who traveled through many universes and timelines in BBD. And yes, Sulis is still a goddess and she has also crossed over from BBD.

      The Strauds is a fully alternate universe, but I’m sure its fine so long as they don’t import all the problems of the previous Universe that they couldn’t solve in the last one

      oh…what was that? You can’t just leave all your problems behind in an alternate universe and hope they disappear? Oh well…

      ::cue evil laughter::

  • Dolly Llama
    September 22, 2022

    SULIS: SUUUULLIIIIISSSSSSS!!!! SULIS!!!! SUUULLLIISSSSS. She’s offended by the existence of cheese?! Sulis YES! That’s based as fuck! No! No, don’t backpedal on that!

    Alright, new standard. The first person with the cojones to call cheese “fermented rape juice” is my favorite character.

    Continuing in Sulis’s section to keep the Morgyn ambivalence strong, ahhhh damn, it came full circle. Like always, I have so many questions. Why would Sulis need Morgyn’s help to escape, and what happened to Alice, and the other gods, and why is Gwendolyn de-aged, and—alright. Going back into patient waiting mode. I will be here standing in the doorway watching you write waiting patiently.

    WILLIAM: Has he had that accent the entire time?! Also, I feel like I should be able to tell what’s going on in that 1950s Army picture at the end of page 2, if I weren’t faceblind. Do we know those characters? That’s Vlad, right?

    VLAD: Vlad will not get the pants with ‘sun salutation’ written on the butt. No. Uh-uh. No way. Instead, he directs Alice toward the pants with ‘[surya namaskara]’ written on the butt. In the original Sanskrit. His keister will not tolerate translations or transliterations.

    And the man was wearing socks!

    Welp, there’s your flaw. What kind of serial killer does utthita hasta padangusthasana with socks on?! Put this man in jail for yoga crimes. (In his defense, the reason you don’t ave socks on during that pose is that the proper alignment is wrapping two fingers around your big toe, and he’s a sim, so he doesn’t have a big toe, just a foot blob with five sets of markings on it.)

    How hard were you laughing putting Vlad in that denim vest and flannel? Be specific. Actually—you know what, with all the clues dropped about Vlad’s sensory processing troubles, I’m going to start paying attention to his clothing choices. Less restrictive, breathable fabrics, no tags?

    THE YOGA TEACHER: Sucks. Her instincts do, at least. If a student is having trouble with savasana, of all things, you don’t try to explain it again. You listen! You figure out what adjustments they need and help them feel comfortable! I’m aware this is the point and I’m just ranting. Still.

    MOOD OF THE DAY: “He was just taking advantage of the fact that they were planning ritual suicide, and Vlad was tired of being on his best behavior.”

    NEVER GOING TO BE THE MOOD OF THE DAY: “I will just buy the damn university. Someone find out how much it costs.”

    IKEA ZOOM: y are they in Ikea Zoom

    SALIM: “Salim was perfect when they first got together… [d]espite that, Alice couldn’t just be chill. She pushed and pushed until their relationship broke.” Ooh. A clue that we aren’t getting the full picture on Salim. (Also, I see that shot where we can’t see Vlad’s reflection in the mirror right after Alice casts her ‘I Wish’ spell that he’s at least crazier than her.)

    ETHREN: Getting more and more suspicious that he’s not around.

    GWENDOLYN: SHE UNDERSTANDS WHAT’S GOING ON BETTER THAN ALICE DOES. OF COURSE. OF COURSE. I LOVE IT.

    ALICE: Was she always throwing this many spectrum vibes or is that just me?! Vlad, too?

    ELMYRA: That. That right there is my role model for talking to children.

    • feroshgirl
      September 24, 2022

      There is no story I’m willing write where Sulis does not come back as a mad, deranged, powerful goddess, okay? All of your questions are SO GOOD. I wish I could answer them right now but…spoilers. Also this line kicked my butt back into high gear. I’m writing, I swear it!

      Thank you fo noticing William’s accent. I worked hard this time around to make it clear. Why yes I can make my black fantasy characters into ye olde Scottish knights with hot non-binary spouses, what of it? LOL

      So, William is kissing someone who isn’t Morgyn in the 1950s with Vlad standing in the background. The man and Vlad are in military uniforms and we know Vlad served in the military in the 50s because that’s how we meant Latimer. That man is not Latimer but we do see him cuddling with William in Vlad’s flashback when he thinks about waking up from his vampiric slumber.

      But again, I’m sure he’s *fine* and totally not important and won’t show up later in the story to wreak havoc <3

      Vlad obviously has to go to jail for yoga crimes. Now, did I shoot that entire scene and forget about his socks until I was making edits? Yes. But is it now plot relevant? Absolutely. Would Deacon ever do yoga with socks on? NEVER. The blob-like construction of sims' feet is not burned into my brain.

      Not only did I laugh hysterically at putting Vlad in denim, I put him in a hoochie daddy venon shorts for a machinima flashback AND I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE.

      (okay listen, yes, you know I am a 100% about this Vlad clothing thing. I got a personal shopper once because I was so overwhelmed by choosing clothing and my instructions were: all parts of my body want to feel like they are in leggings. I AM A NORMAL AMOUNT OF CHILL ABOUT THE FEELING OF FABRICS ON MY BODY. Anyway, I digress - It's a plot point in chapter 14 and throughout the story its important to note when Vlad is wearing clothing that makes him uncomfortable and why)

      That yoga teacher was the worst and I literally wrote a scene where Vlad hunted her down because I was so mad, but it went too far afield from the plot so I deleted it. I really wanted this to be a moment where Alice takes care of him bc literally eff this teacher.

      Hehe, no don't pay attention to Vlad's reflection! nothing to see here...

      Salim, Salim, Salim - how do I love my plans for this character? Too much. Way too much.

      Everyone wants more Ethren. Will they regret it? Only time will tell 😉 (I have made that man entirely too much of a brunch daddy thirst trap not to bring him back)

      Gwendolyn remains the best and wisest character.

      OOOHHHH V INTERESTING OBSERVATION OF ALICE.

      Elmyra for the win.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: