For more than two thousand years, a small community of humans has lived in harmony with vampires, giving their blood and obedience in exchange for protection. And for all that time, it's been a peaceful occupation.
When Kalyn Reid comes of age and pledges herself to the vampires, she has...
Anselm Johnson: Anselm is named after St. Anselm, an Archbishop of Canterbury who died in 1109. Like the vast majority of people in the 13th century, he didn't have a last name growing up, but he eventually adopted "John's son" as a last name, simply because that's how everyone referred to him.Date and Place of Birth: Summer 1219, Boughton-Under-Blean, (Kent) EnglandAnselm doesn't know the exact date of his birth, as he was abandoned as a baby on the doorstep of the church in Boughton. He was baptized in the church on August 4, 1219.Parents: John and CeciliaJohn was a vampire, although Anselm did not know this growing up; Cecilia was his wife and Yaechahre. Living in groups was not a legal requirement at the time, and for whatever reason, John chose to live alone (this tendency towards being a loaner later rubbed off on Anselm).John was, of course, sterile, so he and Cecilia couldn’t have children of their own. When a dark-haired baby boy was abandoned at the local church a few years after they were married, Cecilia begged the priest for him. Glad to be free of having to raise a baby, the priest gave him to her. No one knew where the baby came from, but as the town was on the route between London and Canterbury, it was likely that he had been abandoned by a woman passing through. When Anselm was six, they adopted a two year old girl who had been orphaned. She died, however, when she was twelve from small pox. This strongly affected Cecilia, who began to cycle through depressive periods, and she withdrew more into her faith. She died at the age of 49 after a lingering illness. John took his wife’s death hard, and he and Anselm (who was already a vampire by this time) ended up wandering around England for a while, before getting caught up in the Hundred Years’ War. John was killed fighting at Crecy in 1369. Other Family Members: Micah, brother by declaration.Religion: Anselm was raised Catholic, but is not currently practicing. He still has his faith and some of his habits (he does still cross himself when he mentions God or Christ by name), but he doesn’t go to church, for several reasons. For one thing, the Catholic service that he grew up with no longer exists. Yes, he believes the Mass should be said in Latin. And chanted. Secondly, he doesn’t practice because he can’t receive communion. He painfully feels Leviticus 7:27—Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Communion is not just about communing with God, but also with the people around you; it is an act of community (there’s a reason why the words are etymologically related). Because he can’t share in it, he feels as if he is cut off from his people. To go to church but not receive communion is to forever be an outsider.Lastly, the Catholic Church long ago excommunicated vampires, declaring them to be unnatural and agents of the Devil. Even if Anselm went to church, the faith of his childhood says that it doesn’t make any difference—his efforts don’t count unless the excommunication is lifted. Anselm doesn’t really believe that he is predestined to go to Hell—namely because he doesn’t think he’s an agent of the Devil—but the ban does make him feel unwelcome in church—especially given that Joshua has approached a number of popes, asking them to lift the excommunication, only to have all of them turn him down or give him no answer one way or the other. How He Was Turned: Anselm actually tells the story of his turning in the first book. In short, while he was felling a tree (in the summer of 1247, when he was approximately 28 years old), the head of his ax broke off and it came back and caught him on the inside of the left leg, cutting a deep gash and nicking the femoral artery. His father, who was with him at the time, turned him in order to save his life. Interests and Hobbies: Anselm is a very meticulous person, and enjoys woodworking--especially woodworking in Shaker and traditional Japanese styles, which do not use nails or glue. His favorite television show is Jeopardy!, which he watches religiously every evening, and he likes classical music (and when there aren't any witnesses present--especially Micah--he likes to listen to Enya). He also enjoys reading the newspaper daily and working the crossword puzzle. He mainly reads non-fiction, with a preference to theology and philosophy.The Quotable Vampire: "Micah, you're so full of shit, you squish when you walk."
Ciaran O’Reilly: (Pronounced “KEER-un”) Date and Place of Birth: 1984 Lisdoonvarna, (County Clare) Ireland.Parents: Ciaran’s parents are still alive, as is his younger brother, Sean. Ciaran went to Charleston to stay with his cousin and escape von Gault, but he was attacked by him there. After Anselm rescued him, he ended up calling his family and telling them he was staying in America because he had a job. He still calls them regularly, although he has not seen them since he came to America.Religion: Catholic (big surprise there, huh?). Like many people (including many Irish people, I might point out), Ciaran became rather lax in his religious practice when he went off to college. He actually tries not to spend much time thinking about religion, because it terrifies him to think that he might be damned to hell for being a vampire.How He Was Turned: Ciaran doesn’t actually remember being turned. He knows he went out to a pub to drink, and he can remember meeting a woman and leaving with her. The next thing he can remember is lying in the gutter on nearly the opposite side of town (Galway) from where he started. It took him a few hours, but between his eyeteeth falling out (fangs would grow in over the course of a few days) and getting burned every time he went into the sunlight, he figured out what he was.Needless to say he has been careful with both alcohol and women since then.Interests and Hobbies: Ciaran's major hobby, before being turned, was singing. Since then, however, he has been at odds and ends; he doesn't really know what to do with himself since he lost his livelihood and future plans. He spends a lot of time watching BBC America and is fond of old episodes of Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Red Dwarf, and Father Ted. Like many Irish people, he is very social and he enjoys just sitting around and talking with others--which makes the ostracization of the Canichmehah especially painful. When Kalyn acts friendly towards him, he latches onto that with something approaching desperation. She becomes his closest friend, and he always remains grateful to her for her kindness.The Quotable Vampire: "I don’t have to know German to know when I’m being called a knobjockey—or something to that effect."
Isaac ben Samuel: Hebrew name: Yitzhak ben Shmuel v’MilahUntil the late middle ages/early modern period, when governments began forcing everyone—including Jews—to take a family name, Jews identified themselves as the son or daughter of someone else ("ben" or "bat" respectively)--thus why Isaac's last name is ben Samuel, but his son's last name is ben Isaac.Date and Place of Birth: 1053, JerusalemParents: His sire was his biological son, Micah.Religion: JewishIsaac, more than anyone else, feels estranged from his religion. He has never really reconciled blood-drinking and being Jewish--although he has remained fairly observant. He constantly wrestles with the Jew he thinks he ought to be—and can't be—and the Jew he actually is.He most closely identifies with the Conservative movement. How He Was Turned: When the Crusaders laid siege to Jerusalem (in 1099), Isaac joined with most of the other men in the city to defend it. He was on one of the walls when they were overwhelmed by the Frankish force and he ended up with a deep cut in his left side. He was unconscious when Micah finally found him, several hours after the city had fallen. Micah managed to revive him to a semi-conscious state, but he was not aware of what Micah was doing when Micah fed him blood. When he awoke a couple of hours later, he was in a strange, dark room with Micah sitting beside him. Micah then explained what he had done to save his life--and that the rest of their family had been slain.Isaac never said anything to Micah, but there were many times—that day and for centuries later—when he wished Micah had never turned him. He understood why Micah did it—Micah couldn’t bear the thought of losing one more person in his family—but if he had had a choice, he would have preferred to die with his family.Hobbies and Interests: Isaac is a homebody and very family-oriented, so he can typically be found in his living room. When he’s alone, he likes watching movies or reading thrillers. But he much prefers to spend his time with other people, and he’s the primary reason why everyone in the Lenoir City group is so close and friendly. He often arranges group activities—everything from cookouts to volleyball and fireworks on the Fourth of July—and he’s the primary babysitter for the group’s Yaechahre (Micah is secondary).Math/accounting is his nemesis.The Quotable Vampire: “Love’s a bitch, ain’t it?"
Jeremy Caldwell: Date and Place of Birth: February 3, 1975, Boone, NC. Turned June 10, 2007 (age 32), Lenoir City, Tennessee.Parents: Jeremy’s parents are still alive, although his father is in failing health. He also has a sister, Dana, who is a couple of years younger than he is. She knows that he’s a vampire, and she knows about Rose. Dana’s significant other, David, has also been told; the four of them get together regularly and socialize. Jeremy hasn’t told his parents what he is yet, though. He and his sister have agreed that he will never tell their father, as his health is too poor and he wouldn’t understand. Jeremy plans on telling his mother, though, after his father passes away. Religion: Jeremy doesn’t identify with any particular religion. How He Was Turned: Rose was working in Knoxville at an ad agency when Jeremy was hired and placed on her team. They quickly developed a close friendship, both of them being intelligent, sophisticated, and quiet. They were soon having lunch together frequently (Jeremy teased Rose about never being able to finish her lunch; she said her thinness was because she had never had much of an appetite).They had known each other about a year when Rose noticed that something had changed about Jeremy’s scent. She started trying to unobtrusively nudge him into getting a physical, but because he felt perfectly healthy, he shrugged it off. One day he came into work and something was obviously wrong; he looked and acted like he was sick. He finally confessed in private to Rose that he was having trouble urinating and had passed blood the night before. He was scared enough at that point that he made an appointment to see a doctor.His doctor performed some tests, but told him that he likely just had a urinary tract infection. The following Thursday, however, the doctor’s office called him in to discuss his results. He called Rose from the parking lot of the doctor’s office an hour later; he had testicular cancer. He was given no chance of long-term survival, and with radiation and chemotherapy—which would make him both sterile and impotent—he might only buy himself five years. He was so upset he couldn’t drive himself home. Rose picked him up and took him home with her to stay the night. The next day she talked him into staying with her over the weekend—to give himself time to compose himself and figure out what he wanted to do before he told his family. While he went back home to get a change of clothes, Rose talked to Isaac about confessing herself to Jeremy and offering to turn him. Isaac supported her decision, so when Jeremy came back, she told him what she was, and offered to turn him to save his life. She also introduced him to Isaac, Micah and Anselm, who honestly discussed the pros and cons of being a vampire. He also met with Rob and Alice, who explained what it was like being a Yaechahre and how all of them worked together as a group. Jeremy took a week to think about it before he finally came back to Rose and asked her to turn him. He scheduled a leave of absence from work and the group helped him move into Rose’s house. The day before Rose was going to turn him, Rob and Alice threw him a farewell-to-food party, and anything he wanted to eat or drink, they supplied it. All of the Yaechahre ate all day, and it was the wee hours of the morning before he stumbled back to Rose’s house and passed out drunk on her couch. He was still so hungover the next day she couldn’t turn him (if she had taken from him in that state, she would have gotten drunk from the alcohol in his bloodstream); they had to postpone his turning a day. This is something that is still a joke in the group. Hobbies and Interests: Like Rose, Jeremy prefers to work full-time. In his spare time, he likes to read--thrillers, crime novels, and mysteries--and he participates in WWII reenacting with Rose. He also likes to swing dance.The Quotable Vampire: "I wouldn’t even be alive if it weren’t for Rose; I would have never given her up—not for anything."
Joshua Cohen: Hebrew Name: Y'hoshua KohenDate and Place of Birth: Around 50 C.E. in JerusalemReligion: Jewish. Joshua considers himself modern Orthodox (although he is terribly liberal when it comes to women and sex).He is well-studied in other religious traditions, especially Islam and Christianity, and he is considerate of others’ beliefs. He very much believes in an active God who is at work in the world, and who has tasks (destinies) laid out for everyone.He does not believe that his kind are automatically damned, but that they have to earn their redemption through right action. He does, however, allow that they have to do more than the average person, seeing how they live so much longer. He also feels that their extraordinary abilities—strength, speed, mental control, and regenerative powers—must be “paid back” though charitable actions towards others—such as defending Yaechahre.How He Was Turned: Joshua became Yaechahre when he was sold into slavery at the age of 22. The group he lived with was a nomadic family unit, as was traditional for the Canichmehah (although the nomadic family unit was already somewhat out of fashion at that time; people were beginning to live in groups in cities, not bound by family ties). Their Eruj was the sire of one woman and three men, all of whom lived in the group. When Joshua was about 55 years old, the Eruj offered Joshua his freedom if he would turn. Joshua was owned by the man’s daughter and hated the woman with a passion, so he jumped at the opportunity to be free of her. An altercation between her and Joshua (after he was turned), however, proved very quickly that the two could not live in close proximity to one another, so Joshua was fostered out to a friend of his sire.Children: Joshua had 8 biological children and 48 grandchildren (he quit keeping count after that and lost touch with his descendants, although—after 90-some-odd generations—he still has one biological descendant in existence).He's had a number of vampire children over the millennia, but the only one he has currently is Naomi. She was orphaned as a 14 year old when Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders (in 1099). She was surrounded by six Franks and in imminent danger of being gang raped when Joshua happened to pass by, and he single-handedly dispatched all of them (he killed two). He then took Naomi under his wing, raising her as a Yaechahre. After several years, they became lovers, and he eventually turned her, at her request.Although Joshua cannot and will not commit to any sort of long-term relationship with anyone, he and Naomi maintain a mutual love and respect for one another, and when it suits them, they will go back to being lovers.Other family members: Micah is his great-grandchild by blood, and Isaac is his great-great-grandchild.Hobbies and Interests: I think "making love" would count as an interest—if not hobby. When he's not fulfilling his duties as Erujtah, he teaches history of the Canichmehah, ancient history, and the history of the Jewish people at the Canichmehah's university.He also enjoys learning languages; at last count he spoke and read fifteen languages, and he’s working on two more: Russian and Amharic (Ethiopian).The Quotable Vampire: “Oh, did I say that in my out loud voice?”
Kalyn Elizabeth Reid: Date and Place of Birth: May 22, 1993, Lenoir City, Tennessee. Kalyn was born Yaechahre and was Accepted May 22, 2009. Parents: Robert and Alice Reid. Religion: Episcopalian. Before meeting Rob, Alice was just a generic religious person, having no affiliation with any particular religion, but having a belief in God. Rob was born and raised Catholic, but switched to the Episcopal church when he became disillusioned with the Catholic church as a teen. He nudged Alice into going to church with him on a regular basis, and Kalyn was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal church. But having grown up so close to Micah and Isaac, Kalyn has a fondness for Judaism, and it sometimes colors her views of Christianity. Hobbies and Interests: Kalyn does competitive cheerleading at school. She enjoys spending time with other people, and she will generally go along with whatever anyone else wants to do. She is especially fond of watching football with her dad and is a big UT fan (of course).The Quotable Yaechahre: "So my neighbors are vampires, and my mom and dad go over to their houses two or three times a week to give them some blood. We still own a minivan and watch cable TV.”
Marie Laroche: Title: Marquise of Grimaud (title was lost during the Revolution).Date and Place of Birth: 1739, Toulon, France.Religion: Catholic, non-practicing.How She Was Turned: Marie’s parents—who were wealthy merchants—arranged her marriage when she was 15 to a man of minor nobility who was 38 years her senior. When Marie discovered that he really had no use for her—only for her family’s money—she began to take lovers. In 1761, she met the Marquis of Grimaud, Nicodème, who intrigued her more than any man she had ever met before. She soon became involved with him and he told her that he was a vampire. She never officially became Yaechahre, although she did feed him whenever she was with him.Nine years later, when her husband finally died, she and Nicodème married and he turned her (she will admit that she accepted because she was vain; she didn’t want to get any older). They lived together quite happily until the Revolution intruded on their peaceful little corner of Provence. They were attacked and seized in the middle of the night by rebels who had come in from a different area (Nicodème was fair to his people and they refused to join in rebelling against him—although they also refused to step in to help him). Nicodème managed to hold enough of them off that Marie was able to escape, but he was killed.Marie spent some time serving as a nurse with Napoleon’s army (which is how she met Anselm), but in 1830 she went to Charleston, where her family had gone when they fled the Revolution. Her brother had died a bachelor, and he left Marie the house she is living in during the first book.Children: Marie never had any biological children. She has one vampire child, Boaz; they are estranged.Hobbies and Interests: Marie dotes on her house the way other people dote on pets; she loves decorating and does quite a few of her home repairs herself. She also loves horses and riding, and she owns three mares and a Friesian stallion (Zeus), which she breeds.The Quotable Vampire: “If either one of you challenges him, il sera ton cul.” (“It’s your ass.”)
Micah ben Isaac: Hebrew Name: Micah ben YitzhakHis name is pronounced my-cuh by everyone but his father, who uses the Hebrew pronunciation me-cuh.Date and Place of Birth: 1079, JerusalemParents: Isaac and (as of yet) unnamed mother. Micah was their firstborn and only son; he was followed by five sisters (which is a lot of the reason why he is fond children, especially girls; he helped raise his sisters).Children: He turned his biological father, IsaacOther family members: Anselm, brother by declaration (here is the story of how they met). Joshua is his great-great grandsire.Religion: Jewish.Micah is a secular, “Yom Kippur Jew,” which means he observes Yom Kippur, and not much of anything else. However, he does begin to make something of a reconnection with his faith as the books progress.How He Was Turned: Micah is reluctant to speak about this to most people, even to Anselm. Micah was turned by choice (not to save his life) when he was nineteen, and he seems ashamed of the thought process (or lack thereof) that lead him to make that decision–sort of like getting a tattoo when you’re teenager, then regretting it when you’re thirty. Micah did make the comment to Anselm, once, that his sire owned a brothel—but how he came to know a brothel owner, or why he let her turn him is not volunteered information.Interests and Hobbies: Micah is fond of anything that’s humorous or inherently destructive. He likes target shooting and off-roading. He and Anselm both have taken a variety of martial arts classes, and Micah enjoys practicing with Anselm (he and Anselm are very well-matched, and can cheat by reading the other’s mind; their competitions can go on for quite some time). He also enjoys computers, programming, and computer gaming (especially first-person shooting). When he’s not actually or virtually destroying things, he can usually be found relaxing on the couch with a PC or gun magazine.The Quotable Vampire: “It’s a custom load–.308 caliber, 175 grain, Sierra Match King boat-tail hollow point, in Lake City Arsenal brass, with over 42.5 grains of IMR 4064 powder and a Federal Large Rifle Primer. …For when you care enough to send the very best.”
Rosalind Faye Stewart: Maiden Name: MatthewsRose was born into the Yaechahre and served in that capacity from the time she was 16 until she was 32.Date and Place of Birth: 1909 Knoxville, TNHusband: James McCarthy Stewart, CanichmehRose and James married in Birmingham, AL, April 3, 1926.James died July 28, 1945. Parents: Albert Matthews and Delia Ann Matthews (nee Covington)Religion: She was raised Baptist, but became a Lutheran after she married her husband. She has not had much of a spiritual life since her husband died, although she still has a belief in God and the afterlife.When She Was Turned: December 8, 1941. Rose considered becoming a vampire for some years, but didn’t commit until Pearl Harbor was bombed. Like many Americans, she developed a sense of immediacy, as no one knew what the War would bring. Only instead of running out and getting married—the most common response to the U.S. entrance to the War—she finally asked her husband to turn her.Hobbies and Interests: Rose is an excellent seamstress. While she doesn't make as many of her clothes now as she once did, she still makes some. She's also not afraid to alter store-bought clothes, with the result that everything she wears fits her perfectly.She also participates in World War II re-enacting. No one but Jeremy--who also plays with her--knows that her WASP uniform is not a replica, but the one originally issued to her in 1943.Unlike the others in the group, Rose likes to work; it gives her something to do with her time. She was working for an ad agency in Knoxville when she met Jeremy. They both still work for the same company.
Prologue Accepted Gifts with Meaning Everything has a Learning Curve Erik Waiting to Say Goodbye We Are Alone Love’s a Bitch It’s Not a Date… Yet Isaac and Alice Another Loss A Dead-End Trail Broken Again They Are Waiting A Love That Never Ended A Choice Made The Breaking of the Fellowship Old Soldiers Fleeing South Trouble Comes in Fives For the Love of Family A Less Than Warm Welcome Under Guard A Stab in the Dark The Heaviness of Life Making a New Life Marie Regains Control A Kiss to Make It Better Master Joshua A Question of Honor The Inquest An Evening with Joshua Died of a Broken Heart The Painful Choice Putting the Pieces Together It’ll Take a Miracle The Basement The Enemy Among Us One Straw Too Many Going Home Epilogue Appendix: A Quick Guide to Cainite Preview of Book Two
Canichmeh: Plural: CanichmehahCanichmeh is pronounced cain-eyech-meh, with some people pronouncing it more like cain-eyech-may. It is made plural by the addition of ah on the end, and it becomes cain-eyech-meh-ah.Can is the Cainite spelling of Cain, and refers specifically to Cain of the Old Testament. Nich means descent and meh means person, so nichmeh is descendant. Canichmeh is, therefore, descendant of Cain. Note, there are no double letters in words (double letters can only appear when prefixes or suffixes are added to create plurals or denote tense), so when can and nichmeh are compounded, one of the n?s gets dropped.
Yaechahre: No plural. Yaechahre is pronounced yay-ee-char-ee, but some people slur it into yay-char-ee, dropping the e in the middle as a distinct sound.Yaechahre is an example of a fairly complex compound word. As in Spanish and the other romance languages, Cainite adds pronouns (in this case, as a prefix) to verbs. For instance, I want in English can be rendered as a single word in Spanish, quiero, with the o added to the verb to denote I/me.Ya is the I/me prefix in Cainite, and ech is the you prefix; when combined they are used as a single prefix to denote we. Ahre is the verb to have, so yaechahre literally means we have. There are no separate possessives in Cainite, however, so it can also be used in place of the English word ours. When capitalized, however, it specifically refers to the vampires? human associates. The word came to be associated with humans thousands of years ago, when vampires kept human slaves. Slavery ended for the Yaechahre during the decline of the Roman Empire, but the name stuck.While Canichmeh can--and should--be made plural when the sentence calls for it, Yaechahre, like deer and sheep in English, does not change regardless if the subject is singular or plural. This is because yaechahre is, in actuality, a verb, and therefore has no plural. Using it as a noun is actually considered slang--entrenched though it is in the language.
Imuechmeh: Imuechmeh is pronounced eyemoo-each-meh. Imu is a negative and translates into no, nothing or not, depending on the context. Ech, once again, is a prefix meaning I/me, and meh means person; together echmeh makes a stand-alone pronoun which can be used in a sentence where I or me would be used. Imuechmeh is literally not me, although the accepted translation into English is other. So the Canichmehah call the new breed of vampires "Others."
Eruj: Literally the number "one." Also used to mean "leader" or something which is supreme.
Erujtah: Literally "the supreme one." (The suffix "tah" enhances or enlarges a word.) This word almost always refers to the Head of the Council, because he is the leader to whom all the other leaders answer.
Naishomeh echahre: My (blood) brother. A biological brother would be naishcho echahre.
Naomehechahre: Literally "man of my blood."" Refers to a vampire's male offspring (son).
Omehechahre: Literally "my blood." Refers to a vampire's offspring. A human child may be an omtu (little human), or mehtu (little soul), or choechahre ("my flesh", meaning a biological child).
Omtu: Literally "little human." Used to refer to a Yaechahre in his or her first year of training/mentorship.
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