It is London, in the present day. Vampires are an ever-present, but secret supernatural species, alongside others such as lycans, magi, angels and demons. Even some humans are blessed – or cursed – with magical power. However, society as a whole has no idea that any of them exist.
The Vampire Monarchy has sent its Magister to London after excommunicating the former Chancellor in charge of the region. From here, the Magister administrates both national and regional court. Some say this is a conflict of interest. Others postulate it is his way of expanding his political reach under the guise of the crown.
Few vampires remain loyal to the now banished Chancellor. Lloyd has been sent to London by the Queen herself to investigate the situation, to secretly monitor the Magister as well as report on development in the region as the Queen turns her eye towards the region’s acquisition for herself.
December 31, 2022
New Year’s Eve. I remember it well enough. I didn’t understand the meaning behind it then, and I continue to not know now. What is the point of celebrating another revolution around the Sun? Another 365 days spent dancing with death, running rings around the one thing that could end my existence forever.
This house is so close to the street that I could just about hear the humans celebrating outside before I awoke from my slumber. Hungered, I felt a pang of desire to join them, perhaps attempt some kind of past life regression to see if any mirth could be found within their need to drink themselves stupid and dance the night away. It seems no different to any other Saturday night to me; maybe a little louder, humanity a little more enthusiastic to bring about their inevitable demise by heart and liver disease.
At least it will be easy for me to find a meal among the drunken throng. Finding someone to relate to, however, is always the real challenge. Even at Subdermal, my usual haunt, the patrons are usually insufferable. I hold no hope for it being any different tonight.
Venturing out was a mistake. Of course I achieved the original intention, and it went as well as predicted. It didn’t take long before a human woman approached me, I entertained her with my attention only briefly as she spoke nonsense – something about how she’d lost her job and recently become divorced, and thus was out for a good time. She wrapped her arms around my shoulders without my needing to implore her to do so. After that she was mere putty in my hands; her eyes as vacant as her lips were laced with the overly saccharine remnants of whatever brightly-coloured concoction she’d be drinking, the veins in her neck throbbing with what would be my next meal. It was easy, her blood warm and satisfying enough. At least much of her cheap perfume had worn off by that point.
She wanted to introduce me to her friends; instead I invited her to the VIP room and introduced her to mine. Not that I could really call any of them that – I left but a few moments later as she draped herself across the lap of someone else, seemingly enchanted by his talk of Instagram followers and happily counting the tattoos across his stomach, completely unaware of what had happened to her, and may yet happen still. In hindsight I may have gained more satisfaction from a doll.
I cannot continue to seek entertainment among these people. As good as the club is, almost the entire vampire population of Camden seems to be filled with youths of various subcultures; fledglings, homeless, far too vocal and daring. Social media seems like it will be our downfall. Much like it will be for the humans, I suppose.
Why does the Magister insist on holding office here, among these punks and heathen ingrates? He is a respected priest of Lilith and has the entirety of Greater London at his disposal. Why not Kensington?
I must find another way to connect with my fellows. Surely there is more than one other pleasant vampire in this accursed town.
Mara, Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lloyd Montgomery. I am based in London, England. I am 246 years old and bored beyond belief. I understand this Society allows us to impart private and delicate information without consequence. Though the joining fee was rather high, I am intrigued by the concept and do wonder how they manage to operate in such secrecy. Had you heard of the Society long before joining? It is news to me; imparted by a friend much older than I. A part of me thinks that surely the Monarchy must know about it, but if that was the case, I'd expect that I would have known about it far sooner myself. I spent some time in the courts here as a human before being turned by one of the Queen's courtiers and have been working for the crown ever since. I understand that you have a similar political structure in the USA? I digress; I hope this will be an interesting exercise. Vampires do love their secrets. I look forward to sharing some of mine with you, and vice versa. The other vampires here are rather dull. Lloyd
January 5, 2023
I have learned of something called the ‘Dead Letter Society’ from Aleksei. According to him it claims to match one with another vampire; someone who is uniquely suited to the applicant and their personal ambitions. At first I assumed he was talking of some sort of high society dating program, but Aleksei assured me that it was not intended solely for this purpose, although plenty use it for that.
What is most curious to me is that it operates internationally, and apparently entirely outside of the jurisdiction of the Monarchy. I do not fully understand how something like this is able to remain secret and impartial, though I do suspect that members of the Monarchy and its courts are members. I will admit that it intrigues me to find out more.
There is something tempting about the idea of writing to a stranger, and having some sort of carte blanche regarding the subject matter you discuss. I am sworn to secrecy by the Queen herself, but if this is truly outside of her control, then what does it matter? Of course I will not betray any of her secrets, but surely my own are up for grabs.
They have matched me with an American. Mara. I sent off a letter to her this morning.
It will be odd, to say the least, to attempt to open up to a stranger.
January 28, 2023
I have received my first letter. Mara tells me that she is from France and once lived in England, before moving to the USA. She writes rather beautifully, her script flowing with age and experience with a fountain pen, which pleased me to read. I would have been furious if the Society had matched me with someone uneducated, so I am grateful for that, at least.
She is a poet, she says; after looking her up online I must say she is rather good, if a little wistful in her verse. A century-long career will do that to you, I suppose. There is a tone of melancholy that runs through her work like a seam of ore in rock; I suspect had she not experienced some great kind of grief or loss in her life, her works would be rather different. I am not sure if I truly care to delve into her past but I expect due to the nature of these exchanges, it shall be inevitable.
She does not seem to care for money or power, in fact it seems she prefers to live as something of a hippy and disappointingly, she talks of striving hard to retain her humanity as much as she can. I truly cannot think of anything worse, and I am left wondering what on Earth made the Society decide that we would be a good match.
Regretfully, I cannot conceive of any similarities between us.
January 29, 2023
I awoke this evening with a head full of ideas, the words of Mara’s poetry ringing in my ears as if they were being spoken to me while I slept. It appears that this woman has captivated me well enough to continue with the correspondence; or perhaps it is our differences that makes me so curious. Ordinarily I would scoff but this method of communication leaves space for reflection and I wonder… if I should trust the process a little more.
After all, for the Society to have been operating for as many centuries as purported, they must be doing something right.
I will continue, and see what knowing this Mara better will bring.
Mara, It seems that we couldn't be more different. I am writing to you from a pristine, glass desk on the most recent Macbook Pro; my breakfast consisted of a tall glass of willing manservant. My employer has stationed me in London in a gloriously converted church and there is a Maserati in the garage; it costs them £12.50 just to drive it onto the street and yet they have given me the keys and the freedom to use it whenever I wish. Humans to me are no more than food and entertainment, a means to an end. You have already spoken of trying to hold on to your own humanity as much as possible; I would like to ask you why you feel this way? Our species is vastly superior and the Original Testament makes our position on the food chain perfectly clear. I do wonder why the Society has brought us together; surely they see some value in connecting us despite our differing lifestyles. When I applied I wrote of my desire to meet more interesting peers - those that live and frequent the same area of London as I do seem more interested in maximising their social media reach than anything truly intelligent or artistic. Perhaps it is the debate that we might engage in that they expect to be of value. May I ask what it was that motivated you to join? Lloyd
January 30, 2023
I have written back to Mara, though I have not yet told her of the nature of my work, who exactly I work for or what I am doing here. I did point out our differences; at least in material possessions and the value we place (or don’t, in my case) upon humans. I wonder if this might have been foolish of me; whether she might interpret this as some sort of flex or attempt to belittle her.
But I am not yet ready to let her know that I am who I am – or seek her advice on my current jobs. I am reticent to reveal my true thoughts yet, too, lest they may be used against me. Whether Mara would do so herself or not is unknown, but what I do know is that there are many powers in this world that transcend even that of the Society itself. I cannot yet trust that they are as secure and far reaching as they would have us believe.
Somehow, I received a letter while I was out, although it is evening, and I am certain I did not miss it.
It is from the Society. At first I assumed this was supposed to arrive at the beginning of our correspondence, for the letter contained only the words, “Our Dance Begins”. I doubt they would use the Royal Mail for something like this, although that would explain the tardiness of its arrival, it would not explain its time.
Regardless, the envelope contained something I never thought I’d see again, and was rather disturbed by its inclusion.
Wrapped in parchment was a brooch, from Winchester. The school crest, with the motto underneath. “Manners makyth man”. But.. it was not just any brooch. It was my own. I recognised it by the scratches I had carved into the back with the point of my old reduction compass.
In Lilith’s name, I have no idea how they would have obtained this. I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the thing since I left for the army.
Perhaps I was… hasty, in my final thoughts yesterday.
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