Nicola de Brabant
My journey began in Wales. It is there that
events conspired to send me to my
fate. I was falsely accused of murdering Gwyneth, a harpist, a leader of her people,
and a woman I loved. I did not kill her.
I was to be tried for murder, but Lord dela Barre interceded in my behalf. In
return I was required to take my sword to Jerusalem and fight to free her from the
My faith in God did not survive the journey. I nearly lost my life in that forsaken
country, but I did not. I returned home disillusioned with God and his church. Bitter
andangry, I met my fate in a Paris tavern.
She stood in the doorway, dark and beautiful, and asked me, "How badly do you
want me?" The question and it's answer haunt me still, for I wanted--badly. And I
followed her into the darkness and I lost my soul.
Her name is Janette. I willingly let her seduce me and she brought me to her master,
LaCroix. He offered me the gift of immortality. I would live a thousand lifetimes and
never know death. I would be a God! I wanted it. I had to know what it would be
like to live as a vampire.
I took the gift LaCroix offered me and was brought across in 1228. There in the
catacombs beneath Paris, I took my first blood, made my first kill, and discovered
that I was a murderer--not a God. This immortality reeked of death.
But it was far to late to undo what was done, and I had made my choice, and tried
to live as LaCroix would have me. But I could not leave behind my mortal life and
I foolishly tried to remain connected to my life. I went to see my family--see them
one last time, and feel a part of them. It did not work. All it brought was more pain
as my sister Fleur fell under LaCroix' speel, and he under hers.
I made yet another bargain with LaCroix in exchange for her life. If I should ever
truly love a mortal, he could take his revenge. I never thought I would. I thought it was
a safe bargain to make. I was wrong.
I left my family behind, finally when LaCroix turned Fleur's son away from me. I
remember that bitter moment as if it was yesterday, and it was then I threw myself into
the sensual life of a vampire. I became what he wanted. I lived and reveled in the
vampire's life of the hunt and the blood.
But in 1428, I met a Jeanne d'Arc. I planned to take her life to feed the lust in my
heart, but she stopped me with her courage, her absolute faith in God. She had the
audacity to tell me that I, Nicolas de Brabant, who would live forever, lived in constant
fear of death, because I was afraid of salvation. She was not afraid of the death I
meant to give her that night because of her faith in God. I let her go because of her
courage...or so I thought.
We met again in 1431. She was going to be burned at the stake, and I offered her
the gift of life. She refused. I asked her how she could be so sure her God would be
there on the other side. "Faith," she said. "Pure, simple faith." And then she told me
that my faith was there, if I chose to regain it.
I watched her die, and marveled at her strength and faith, and wondered if, indeed
I had made the wrong choice. And so it began. The seeds of doubt and been planted
and began to grow in the barren soil of my heart.
My life began to unravel when Janette left me. I loved her so much, and she didn't
want me anymore. I would have done anything for her--yet she left me. She said it was
time to move on. I was empty inside, searching for anything--and at first determined to
find somebody to replace her.
I found Alyssa. I loved her and decided to bring her across. On our
wedding night, I made my first attempt to bring someone across, and failed miserably.
She lay in my arms, cold and dead. And I began to wonder seriously, if the price of
my immortality was eternal loneliness. It was then that the lives I took began to be bitter
in my mouth. The blood cried out for vengeance, and I began to wonder if there was
a God, and if my soul was truly lost. In my heart, I knew there was, and I blanched at
Around 1600, I began to take only those I deemed guilty, those who were thieves
and murderers, as my victims. In that way I sought to redeem myself by being an
executioner for God.
My course was not straight or narrow as I began to seek my faith--though I did not
know I was seeking it at the time. I killed to establish a fortune for myself, and it has
brought me only bitterness. I still killed out of lust, when my appetite was high, and
then felt shame.
I remember taking Alexandra under those circumstances and feeling such guilt that
I could not stop. LaCroix, for his amusement, finished what I had started, and brought
her across. Her lust for revenge eventually brought about a confrontation between us.
As I asked her then, I ask myself, "How many have you killed because of this lust, this
hunger?" She didn't know, she hadn't kept track. But I have. I remember each face
and am haunted by the guilt.
My odd notions on the value of human life also brought me into conflict with LaCroix.
His anger was staggering when I, in my own wrath destroyed Francesca, my sister--and
his child, for her practice of killing gifted artists. I paid dearly for that.
We spent less and less time together. I made my own way, striving to live a life less...
evil. And LaCroix mocked me for my ideas. He would try to pull me back in, and I
would struggle to move away. I gained his acceptance for a time, when I saved his life
in the Crimean War. He had the bad luck to run into a stake. And so we went our
separate ways until close to the Civil War. It seemed the more I sought to be humane,
to be human, the more he became obsessed with bringing me to my senses. Somewhere,
we crossed the line, and love became at times, hate.
I would run, he would pursue. Janette was often caught in the middle. I fear her life
was not easy because of our struggle, but she too, is a survivor, and endures both LaCroix'
strictness, and my rebellion in her own way. Though we have never been as close as we
once were, she has been the one constant friend I could rely on.
It was in Paris, in 1890, that I saw Sylvane, and was enraptured of her beauty and grace.
I went every night to watch her dance. Janette and LaCroix often came, together or separately,
amused and then annoyed at my...obsession with her purity.
LaCroix deceived me into believing she was not so pure and innocent, that she did not
belong on the pedastal I'd placed her on. To my shame, I believed him, and took her life
only to find she had been pure, and that she had loved me. It was then that I turned away
from killing at all. It was then I began in earnest to seek a way back. I could not be this
anymore. I could not...
The more I sought, the more LaCroix interfered. The anger grew between us. The
hatred deepened. Again and again I ran from him, and time and again he found me. The
pursuit has been endless.
I took up professions among mortals, sought to live like them, be like them, help them.
Eventually I discovered that I was good as a cop, and it is a profession I return to often in
my lives as I seek for redemption and mortality.
And it is here, now in Toronto, that with the help of Natalie Lambert, I'm searching again
for a cure. It was here that LaCroix and I reached the point of no return, and in my anger
I staked him. I killed him. Or so I thought.
I lived a year, that was the happiest in my life, believing him dead, free at last to choose
my own path. I came closer than ever to becoming mortal with Natalie's help. But then
LaCroix returned. He attempted to destroy my life here as Nick Knight, but he failed. And
now we live in an uneasy peace for the first time in a long time.
In some ways, I'm closer than ever to being mortal, to being human, but I'm also farther
away. I long for it, as I long for the love I see in Natalie's eyes. The love I cannot return,
no matter how much I want to--not as long as I am a vampire.
But the price is high, for I almost broke when my partner, Schanke died, and Janette
left me. The despair is deeper and the effort to go on is greater than ever before.
And yet, after Schanke's death and Janette's departure, LaCroix and I began to mend all
the broken pieces, and find our way back to...an acceptance of each other.
But with Janette's return, it began to unravel. She had found the mortality I had sought
so long and desperately--without even trying. And then she lay dying in my arms and I
could not let her go. I brought her back across. It was one of my darkest, bitterest
moments. I should have let her go, but I could not. I hope someday she will forgive me.
After that, I began to see things differently, and I finally began to understand LaCroix.
For I learned, at last, about Divia, his daughter and his master. To save his life, I
took Divia's, and finally found myself on equal ground with LaCroix.
And it was here in Toronto, I found my faith again, as Joan promised. It was indeed there
waiting for me. And at last I discovered, that indeed, LaCroix was and is...my closest friend.
And it is here that my journey has, at last, ended. I hope that God will forgive me, and I
have faith that Natalie is indeed waiting for me....
| Nicholas Forrester