Parva raised one eyebrow. “Whatever questions you may have, I will answer as best I can.” He pulled out a chair from the dining table and sat down.
Linx didn’t waste any time. “What does that emblem on your robe mean?”
Parva chuckled softly, tapping the emblem softly. “This is a symbol of the…coven that I am the High Priest of.”
“So you’re Wiccan?”
Parva shook his head. “I have no understanding of Gardnerian, Alexandrian or Dianthic Wicce. This coven predates them all by several decades, if not several centuries.”
“So… just how long have you and your… coven been around?” Linx was sceptical that it was a coven. He thought it was more of a small cult with Parva as its insane leader.
Parva leaned back in his chair, tapping his chin while thinking. “Well… I personally have headed this coven for over four hundred years.”
Linx’s jaw dropped. John did his best to hide a laugh behind a cough, but found Linx glaring at him. John had the capacity to actually look embarrassed, if only for a moment. “What did you expect? The man is ancient.”
Parva grinned uncharacteristically at John. “I am only a few centuries older than you, vampire.”
“Alright, I don’t buy it,” Linx stated with a frown. “How exactly are you as old as you are if you’re human?”
“Well, when I was first recruited for the coven back in the late 1600s…” Parva began. John raised his eyebrows questioningly. Parva balked, looking out the window. “Alright, alright vampire… I wasn’t recruited, I was kidnapped. Conscripted, if you will, by the former leader.” He sighed, making a show of pushing his hair back from his face. “One of the traditions of the Guardians is that they find someone who has lost everything in their life, and conscript them into the coven. Back then, there were several hundreds of thousands of my kind of people around. You know, scoundrels, sewer rats, and the like. Medieval times were harder than the texts used to teach in courses have stated. Famine was common, yes. Parents often sold their children when they didn’t have any food left to eat. The Protectorate’s army was deliberately forceful and cruel in any way imaginable to the colonists stateside because they didn’t want to be stationed so far from jolly old England. They beat the men, and raped the women when they pleased.” He paused, getting up to make himself some hot tea. “Ah, my manners… would either of you like a cup of hot green tea?” Both Linx and John both shook their heads at the offer, so Parva continued on with his explanation. “Ah, yes, the medieval times… more specifically, the time your generation came to know as the Salem Witch Trials. Like most of the commonly infamous happenings of the world, this began as a whisper that hurtled into a scream. They never really pointed the finger of blame at many males. When they did… the screams were horrendous.”
“Were you ever blamed?” Linx couldn’t wait for Parva to prattle on more about how terrible the times were.
“…I was one of the three children blamed for a home catching fire. The owners had left a candle burning crookedly on the nightstand. I did not think it was my place to fix the issue, considering that I was just homeless riffraff at the time. The following day, the townspeople were in an uproar, looking for someone to blame.” He took his cup of tea and returned to his seat, setting it down on the table. “It did not take long for myself, along with an older woman and a teenaged boy to be blamed and thrown into prison. Have you ever seen a young child imprisoned with insane convicts that have actually committed immoral and unforgivable acts? I should have been killed by that murderer that loved little children.” Parva chuckled, obvious in his reminiscing of the past. Linx and John looked at each other, confused. “Instead, I was given freedom, and a chance to keep the world from going to hell. I took it, obviously.” He took a sip from his steaming cup of tea, closing his eyes.
“Uh…” Linx didn’t know what to ask, following that rhetoric. “You said you were kidnapped?” Parva nodded silently, taking another sip from his cup. “Is that what this is?” Linx pointed between himself and John slowly. “Are you trying to conscript us?”
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