Bloodmaiden: Part 1

Princess Amelia of the House of Sacrifice watched as the dirigible was secured on the lawn in front of the palace. Men swarmed in from the sides, grabbing the ropes that were thrown down and running them toward the short posts that surrounded the airship on all sides.

Soon they’d tied the ropes to the posts. Then they carried out the stairway platforms, assembling them and placing them next to the gondola’s doors–including the cargo hatch.

They’d need the cargo hatch. She’d be bringing a lot of baggage with her.

Turning away from the window, she clenched her fists. It was all so unfair. She hadn’t asked for this. She hadn’t asked for any of it. What she wouldn’t give to be born into a normal family right now–the daughter of a merchant, maybe, or an airship engineer?

As she stood in the second room of her suite,  a room where she’d had private dinners, studied with her tutors, and played with her sister, she began to feel it again. It was always there below the surface of her thoughts. She could hear the whispers of all the Bloodmaidens before  her, the saviours, the merely successful, the failures, the exiled, and the damned. All of them wanted the same thing. They wanted her to reach within herself for her power. It would be easy, easier than it ever had been even when her tutors had been teaching her magic.

She took a breath and let it out. She could control it. She wasn’t going to transform again, not so soon after yesterday. If she had a choice, she’d never transform again.

As she breathed, a new person entered the room. At a little under five and half feet tall with short, red hair, and pale skin, the new girl looked almost exactly like Amelia.  Clothes were the only obvious difference. The new girl wore a pink dress while Amelia wore a black leather overcoat that covered up everything down to her matching boots.

“Amy,” the new girl said, reaching out her hands to pull Amelia into a hug. “You’re already leaving?”

“As soon as they can throw my things aboard the airship, I’m told. Doing anything less invites dissent, rebellion,  and the fall of an empire. Our empire,” Amy frowned, but didn’t let her sister go.

“I’ll be completely lost without you,” her sister whispered.

Amy shook her head. “Amanda, you won’t be. You can’t be. You’re the Bloodmaiden. The real one.” Amy thought, but didn’t say the new one, the better one, and the one that doesn’t terrify an empire.

Amanda pulled her head off Amy’s shoulder, and they looked each other in the eyes. “What’s it like?”

At that they both let each other go. Amy said, “Do you remember the feeling you had when we were first learning blood magic? When you touched that first drop of blood, it felt like you’d touched the smallest part of an ocean? I’m touching the whole ocean, and I’m touching it all the  time.”

Amanda nodded. “It’s not like that for me at all. I can’t even do blood magic anymore.”

Amy blinked. “It cut you off from blood magic? That makes no sense at all.”

Amanda held up her hands, stopping Amy from saying anything more. “No, it’s more like I am the blood magic. I can feel everything, and everyone in the empire.  Our tutors, well, my  tutors tell me I’ll be able to do all of it again, but using different techniques.”

Amanda opened her mouth, stopped, and then said, “I can sense everyone except you.”

Amy took a breath. “Oh.”

Another voice broke into the conversation, this one a tenor. “That’s enough. Even here, there’s a risk of being heard. Don’t divulge any secrets except when you know you’re safe.”

Tall, with red hair and a red moustache, and skin as pale as his daughters’, their father stood in a black, pinstriped suit. Small red gems glowed on his cufflinks.

“From me?” Amy asked.

He shook his head. “I know that she’s in no danger from you. I wish the lords understood the same, but I can’t blame them. Before the council changed the nature of the Bloodmaidens, the birth of twin Bloodmaidens almost always led to civil war. We’d thought twin Bloodmaidens was now impossible and reverting back doubly so, but there have been no twins since the change. The  lords are scared. The commoners are scared. Unless we’re seen to do something about it, we risk chaos.”

He looked from one daughter to the other. “You both know what happened to the last Bloodmaiden of the old line.”

12 thoughts on “Bloodmaiden: Part 1”

  1. At the end of the fourth paragraph, in:
    What she wouldn’t give to be born into a normal family right now–the daughter of a merchant, maybe, or a airship engineer?

    Should it be “an airship engineer?”

    Again thanks for posting the stories.

  2. Very nice beginning with some intel on Amy’s world already: it is not completly in mediaval stasis and seems to have at least some technological advances.

    The other interesting thing is how we got description of how the use of Bloodmagic(well Amy’s world’s version at least)feels to the user which I find interesting…I also see that it might become an addictive thing to some people which no doubt factors in this world’s history and may explain the League’s verse people’s wariness towards it, especially if the league’s verse version is nastier and even more addictive.

    Amy is shown once again to have access to the previous Bloodmaidens(at least the old generation ones)which also includes mad and evil ones from what I gathered, this might come into play later especially if she goes to Turkmenistan to confront the Faerie running the show there whome one of the ancient Bloodmaidens fought.

    The way the Council change the Bloodmaidens is interesting too: From what I gathered the Bloodmaidens 2.0 do not need others’ essence to do their thing because they are always connected to the living beings of their world, so I would think that to do their thing they take a little bit from everything living in the place instead of Killing or Crippling one being, not bad.

    I wonder was there ever a man wielding power ressembling the Bloodmaidens, surely some of the ancient Bloodlords might have tried that one(why am I suddenly thinking that this reality’s version of vampires might come from those possible attempts ?)

    This is shaping to be great!!(well then again Legion has yet to disappoint so I guess I am merely stating the obvious)

    1. I think the Blood maiden 2.0 might be considered more of a defensive version focused on her people and the land she must protect. Whil Amy’s is more agressive in nature and meant to be on the offensive.

  3. I’m going to be a little pedantic here and make a note that:

    ‘watched the dirigible land on the lawn in front of the palace.’

    is probably not what happened. A dirigible doesn’t land, it either docks with a tower, hovers over the land while it is made fast, or is stored, floating, in a gigantic hangar. Landing a dirigible would probably result in fire, chaos, and death.

    ‘Land’ could be replaced with ‘being secured’ or ‘being made fast’ or some such. I’m sure there are actual words for it from the days of dirigibles on this world, but I’ll leave that to you if you want to poke around for the actual words they used. Nothing’s to say you have to use them either, but like I said, I’m being pedantic, and I know it. For some reason that usage bothered me enough to comment on it.

    1. I can only speak for myself, but I wanted this world to have late 1800s to early 1900s technology. Using a dirigible says that without saying it. That said, the Hindenburg disaster made airships look bad, making them an underused technology in our world. If nothing else, using them shows that the Hindenburg disaster didn’t happen everywhere.

    2. Airships are in the primary timeline, and thus 90% of offshoots have them. *We* are in one of the weird alternative universes that doesn’t have them.

    3. Airships really only fell out of use because of the Hindenburg, here- had that not happened, they would have continued being developed and used, and the sorts of commercial aircraft we have now might not have been developed.

      Things like aircraft-grade aluminum, precision engineering and machining, high-power low-weight engines and even carbon fiber and plastics would all have let a continual development of airships remain competitive, with heavier-than-air flight being used primarily for high-expense high-speed travel of small stuff.

      Airships are even coming back- look at the Dragon some time.

    4. Airships are an amazingly efficient way to establish setting. Like having American characters using metric instantly establishes that you’re in the future, just mentioning an airship instantly establishes that you’re in an alternate universe and it’s at least a little steampunky.

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