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Feb. 9th, 2007

no heaven for me

(no subject)

Erzsébet could feel her skin tingling in anticipation. She couldn’t remember how long it had been since she felt this giddy about what for her was practically an everyday occurrence. But then, this was the first time in a long time that the ceremony wouldn’t be all that usual.

The trip down to the dungeon passed as quickly to her as the blink of an eye and the Countess was pleased that by the time she arrived, everything was arranged exactly as she had requested. The Iron Maiden had been removed from it’s dais and now sat on the floor, facing the small wooden stand. Naturally, the food left for the girl, Ildikó, earlier that day had been drugged and she had since been bathed and stripped, and now restrained inside the Maiden, the doors still open.

Erzsébet stepped up onto the platform and stared down at her prey, the glow from several torches illuminating behind her. And waited.

“Your skin is such an odd golden colour,” she murmured as the youth eventually began to show the first hints of consciousness. “It’s as if you’ve somehow soaked up a measure of the sun – so different from the others. It makes you quite beautiful, you know. Very appealing… desirable despite your leanness.”

The girl opened her eyes with great difficulty and gazed blearily up at her captor.

“It is such a struggle to stay young,” the Countess continued, holding out a hand which a soldier immediately took to help her back down to the floor. “The very efforts of doing so are in themselves taxing, requiring a never-ending search. I have always known that the best blood comes from pure young girls, but you…”

Slowly, she circled the contraption, enjoying the emotions readily displayed on Ildikó’s face as she became increasingly aware of her situation and how futile it truly was. “I’m told you are not as other normal girls, that you possess special abilities. What benefits might I reap from one such as you, so strong, so healthy, so different. What longevity?”

The girl made an effort to speak, but was prevented by her gag. Erzsébet stopped briefly to watch in mild amusement and then resumed her pacing. “Normally I have serving girls readied for me in numerous ways. Heated pinchers or branding generally gets the blood flowing quite richly. But you…” Countess Bathory’s voice trailed off, letting the thought go unfinished. It didn’t need to be. “I think it would be best not to blister such lovely skin, don’t you?”

Finally, Erzsébet stepped back, once again facing the girl. “You showed such interest in my precious Iron Maiden earlier that I decided you should experience it firsthand, without all the bothersome distractions that preparation would entail.”

A look of horror crossed Ildikó’s face, as it became apparent that with those words, she only just realized that she was already strapped to the device. The Countess gave the briefest of nods and then slowly, two guards began to push the doors of the Maiden shut.

Victorious, Countess Bathory soon lifted a goblet within the girl’s view and offered a silent toast to her dying victim, before treating Ildikó to the last sight she would ever see – her own blood being consumed.

And Erzsébet couldn’t stop smiling.


[All dialogue taken directly from Tales of the Slayer Vol 1: die Blutgrafin by Yvonne Navarro.]

Feb. 7th, 2007

neutral gaze

(no subject)

As she suspected, Countess Bathory had been told by her ladies that the girl in question was indeed singularly gifted among the serving girls. Anna had been consulted and further speculation as to the girl’s true nature were made and all but confirmed.

Erzsébet was pleased, regardless, and shortly after the maiden was taken down to her new position in the dungeon, the lady of the house readied her guards and descended to meet her. It was a quiet procession, as usual, however the Countess was not surprised at how easily they unbarred the door and removed the torches around the entrance unnoticed.

As expected, having spent a few hours in the dungeon surrounded by torture devices of all shapes and sizes, not to mention the four barely-alive girls chained to the walls, the poor thing was enthralled – and one implement held her attention more so than the others. Not that Countess Bathory could blame her. “I see you are fascinated by the Iron Maiden.”

The girl, Ildikó, turned quickly toward the sound of Erzsébet’s voice, an expression of thinly veiled terror on her face as she watched the guards along with Kateline and Jó Ilona enter the room, shielding the Countess from view. “I have never seen such a thing.”

“It’s quite beautiful, isn’t it?” Erzsébet asked lightly, maintaining her position in the darkened doorway. “I had it made by a clockmaker at Dolna Krupa. Such a fine and efficient piece of art.”

“Art?” Ildikó frowned. “It seems more a work of cruelty to me.”

The Countess laughed softly. “Quite overspoken, aren’t you? A perilous thing in my service, you know.”

“My apologies, Your Highness.”

“No matter. You are different from the other maidens. More robust, I think. Stronger. My sorceress tells me of your great stamina and health, that you are… special.” Smiling to herself, Erzsébet watched the young girl process that bit of information, as a soldier entered further into the room and placed a tray of food on one of the tables.

Once satisfied the girl understood her words, she continued. “You will tend to these girls. And yourself, also – the cook tends to forget to bring meals to those in the dungeon. I fear this part of the castle makes her uncomfortable. I rather enjoy its accommodations. Besides, my Maiden graces this room, and that, of course, makes it my first choice for... guests.”

Her instructions given, the Countess made a silent motion to her entourage, indicating it was time to take their leave. But not before she offered a few final words over her shoulder. “Don’t worry, my pet. A serving girl as different as you should be treated as such, and we’ll return to visit later. You shan’t be down here alone too long.”

With the torches replaced and the door once again barred, Erzsébet began the journey back to her rooms, pausing once to impart the next part of the plan to her ladies. “Give her an hour and then I wish her to be prepared for this evening. And this one will go directly to the Maiden.”


[All dialogue between Countess Bathory and Ildikó is taken directly from Tales of the Slayer Vol 1: die Blutgrafin by Yvonne Navarro.]

Feb. 5th, 2007

beauty forever

(no subject)

“You will explain again,” Erzsébet Bathory, clearly less than pleased, faced down her two ladies-in-waiting.

Kateline hesitated, but Jó Ilona spoke immediately in a clear voice. “There was a commotion last night, Your Highness. Several guards and servants report hearing sounds of a struggle, the voices of men and a girl, yet no one was found in the area it is agreed the noises came from.”

“And now two of my personal guard are missing?” It was less a question then a confirmation of what had already been reported. The two women nodded. “Yet we are not less in our number of female servants?”

“No, Highness.”

The Countess pursed her lips and turned from her ladies to a full length mirror, smoothing her skirts and her hair. “Then I am being asked to believe that either these guards have chosen to leave my service without cause, or,” she paused to frown and was inwardly pleased at the lack of wrinkles the action produced, “that somehow, there has come to be a girl in this castle who has the ability to eliminate them.”

Neither option was one she wanted to consider. Vampires were certainly not the most trustworthy of creatures, but there had been an agreement between the Countess and her guards for many years now; an agreement that she had followed through on to the letter. If these two had decided to disregard it now, it was possible others may follow in their stead and Erzsébet knew her hold on them was becoming tenuous, as the threat of Dracule became less and less menacing.

As for the girl, well, Countess Bathory had heard the rumours. Whether she believed them or not was another thing, but it was certainly not out of the realm of possibility, especially since her sorceress, Anna, could neither confirm nor deny that such a maiden could exist. Still, one little girl would be easier to deal with than a cadre of rebelling vampires.

She forced herself to relax and pivoted back around to face her ladies. “Have we any leads as to the identity of the girl?”

Both women hesitated this time and after a brief, shared look, Kateline spoke. “Judit reports there is a girl in the kitchens, still fairly new to the castle. Stronger than most and assigned to tend the fires during the night.”

Tapping a finger against her chin, Erzsébet considered this information thoroughly, barely suppressing a smile. “You will test this girl. Take her with you this evening when you attend to the disposals. If her strength truly is something to be admired, assign her to the dungeon and alert me immediately.”

“Yes, Your Highness,” the two women murmured, heads bowed.

“That is all,” the Countess waved a hand dismissively and her ladies took their leave. In the meantime, Anna’s counsel would be required. There were plans to be made and Erzsébet hadn’t felt this excited in years.

Nov. 26th, 2006

plotting your death

(no subject)

Earlier that afternoon, a girl had been chosen. She was a tall girl, blond and no more than fourteen years of age, and had once been quite strong. Now, after days of preparation, she was weak and gaunt. Ready.

Some hours later, Erzsébet made her way down to her most favoured place in Castle Csejthe – the dungeon she had had built especially for her specific tastes. As always, she was accompanied by her most trusted maids, Jó Ilona and Kateline, as well as a few guards, some vampire and some not.

Stepping into the room, she smiled a serene and satisfied smile. The sight never failed to please her. The girl had been bathed, stripped and strapped down to a table tilted at a slight angle, a table etched with grooves so the blood would flow to a spout at one corner and pool into a large bowl placed underneath. Two maidens who had not been selected remained chained to a far wall, also gagged, covered in bruises and bite marks, marks made by something far more mundane than a vampire.

The Countess walked to the side of the table and ran a jeweled hand along the young woman’s leg, eliciting terrified whimpers in response. “Shh, my pet. There is no need for that.” A gentle finger pressed briefly over the gagged mouth. “No one will help you.”

A quick nod to Jó Ilona later and Erzsébet had her usual hot pincers in hand. Quickly, she moved around the table, leaving patches where the flesh had been removed all along the girl’s body, allowing the first rivers of blood to run. The victim instinctively tried to thrash and scream in response to the torment, but it was to no avail.

There were no words of comfort as she leaned over the youth. Instead, she ran the sharp corner of one of her many rings across the girl’s forehead and then licked the away the blood that formed in a thin line along the cut. “Your youth and strength into me, little one.” She whispered. “What a service you do your country.”

Countess Báthory stood back for a moment and simply stared at her prey, her breath increasing ever so slightly, reveling in the immense pleasure of the situation. And then she handed the instrument back to her maid for re-heating, should she wish to use it again later. For the time being, she merely selected a chain flail and set to really get to work.

When it was over, Jó Ilona collected enough blood from the bowl into a goblet which she handed to her mistress. Erzsébet settled into a large chair that had been appropriately placed in the dungeon for this very reason, where she could survey her handiwork and enjoy the fruits of her labour. As always, she took her time; savoured every drop before finally giving a soft sigh of disappointment that yet another encounter was completed.

She strode to the door, stopping to rest a light hand on the shoulder of one of her guards. “You may have the rest. And the others as well.” She nodded to the two girls still chained. “They displease me.”

Jó Ilona and Kateline followed the Countess obediently and were given their final instructions once outside the dungeon. “When they have feasted, be certain to remove the heads before the bodies are disposed of. I want no chance of a surprise coming back, hmm?” The maids nodded demurely and stepped aside to wait, while Erzsébet began the long climb back to her room to rest.

Oct. 20th, 2006

no heaven for me

(no subject)

Family:
Parents were György (George) and Anna Bathory, both from different branches of the Bathory clan. Elder brother István (Stephan), said to be an alcoholic and womanizer, younger sisters Zsófia (Sophia) and Klára (Clara). Favourite aunt, Klára, well known as a sadist and lesbian.

Protestant.

Daughters Anna (24), Orsolya (Ursula) (17-22?) and Katalin (Katharina) (15) and son Pavol (Paul)(11). Also had an illegitimate daughter prior to marriage, Anastasia (35), who likely grew up unaware of her mother's identity.

Husband Ferencz died in 1604. They had been married for 29 years and while it was a political union, it seems they were at least marginally happy with each other.

Cousin (brother?) Gábor (Gabriel) Bathory (20), ruling Prince of Transylvania.

Cousin Zsigmond (Sigismund) Bathory, former ruling Prince of Transylvania.

Cousin András (Andrew) Bathory, a Cardinal, former ruling Prince of Transylvania.


Favoured Servants:
Jó Ilona - lady-in-waiting, elderly nurse, likely raised the children
Kateline - lady-in-waiting
Dorothea (Dorka) - maid, witch
Megyery - Pavol's tutor
Anna Darvula - friend, witch
neutral gaze

Canon synopsis/information

Tales of the Slayers Vol. 1: die Blutgrafin

Setting: Hungary, 1609

The current Slayer is fifteen year old Ildikó Gellért and her Watcher is seventy year old Kurt Rendor. They have known each other for three years, ever since he took her in as a gypsy runaway, though she only received her calling six months prior to the start of the story. They have a distant but respectful relationship, and the other villagers regard Ildikó as a distant niece of Rendor's. As a Slayer, she is inexperienced, young and lacks the innate ability to sense vampires before they attack.

Rendor's plan is to have Ildikó infiltrate Countess Bathory's castle as a serving girl in order to confirm (or deny) the rumours that the Countess is killing her maids at an alarming rate. They also wish to determine if she is in fact a vampire. Ildikó is rough around the edges, but with a crash-course in how to behave more like a lady, she is chosen by Bathory's favoured ladies-in-waiting - Kateline and Jó Ilona - along with five other village girls. Rendor, unable to accompany her, stays behind in the village.

Once at the castle, Ildikó is sent to work in the larder, performing more physically demanding tasks than other servants, as she was chosen by Jó Ilona for being strong and able to handle such tasks.

After a week, Ildikó finally decides to do some investigating at night as so far, she has been unable to even glimpse the Countess, let alone find any incriminating evidence against her. She is confronted by two guards, who turn out to be vampires, though she is caught unawares due to her inability to sense them beforehand. Battle ensues and although Ildikó defeats them both, she is forced to retreat as the sounds of the fight have roused other members of the household.

The next day, Kateline enlists Ildikó to help bury two "bundles", which the young Slayer immediately recognizes as bodies. After the task is complete, Jó Ilona is impressed by the girl's strength and decides to transfer her duties elsewhere, indicating that providing Ildikó can hold her tongue and play by the rules, she could rise in the ranks among the servants.

Ildikó seizes her chance and is taken down to the Countess' dungeon - and promptly realizes she just might be in over her head. She is locked inside and takes it upon herself to tend four other girls who have not only been badly beaten, but are chained against the wall, caring for their wounds and bringing them fresh water, all the while frustrated that she is unable to free them.

She then becomes distracted by the torture devices present, horrified by the number and varied amounts of implements. It is at this time that she finally encounters the Countess, along with her entourage, who tells Ildikó that she has been told of her strength and health. Food is brought in and the Slayer is instructed to feed the chained girls, and herself, and told by Bathory that she will return to release her soon. And then she is gone, leaving Ildikó alone again with the captives, even more frustrated that she was denied a chance to face the Countess due to being outnumbered.

Still, Ildikó does as she had been told, only to find that the food provided has been drugged and she falls unconscious. When she wakes up, she finds that she is restrained and that the Countess has in fact returned, so intrigued and impressed by the Slayer's health and vigour that she has decided that Ildikó has exactly the sort of blood she desires. Still alive, she is placed into the Countess' favoured Iron Maiden and dies slowly, but not before she is treated to the sight of Bathory drinking her blood from a goblet, and still uncertain if the Countess is a vampire or not.

Final notes: As stated, Rendor not only had to leave Ildikó to her own devices once she is taken off to the castle, but had no further contact with her. When she never returns, it would be logical for Rendor to deduce the series of events, which would no doubt have been recorded into his Watcher's Diary. Still, it would have been heavy speculation, as he would have no concrete proof that the Countess had killed Ildikó herself, as opposed to some other unfortunate occurrence.
bathed in blood

February 2007

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