Fall of the Camarilla
I was born a poor black child of the Gambi tribe from west Africa in the 1700’s. For many generations my people were made strong by the oerwoud, the jungle. It shared it’s secrets with our medicine men and made sure our bellies were always full. I never knew for wanting.
When the rains came the jungle spoke no more. When the rain continued and the river swallowed our village my tribe found no refuge in the arms of oerwoud.
For weeks we walked. As we moved further from our ancestral home the magics we had practiced for generations waned. Medicine men could no longer speak to the jungle plants, their salves stop working. Our hunters’ weapons became blunt. The smells of ajuoga, the feast, replaced by the stink of sweat and piss that accompanies fear.
Each day we forced ourselves onward, towards the coast. Towards the home of the first men, the first Gambi. When I could no longer walk my mother carried me on her back. When our fathers could no longer walk we rested. When the night came we sought whatever shelters we could find, often we slept in the low branches. At night the jungle is alive, living and breathing, loud. It’s in the moments where you awake, and realize all is silent, that the aujoki is near.
It took from us in the night. There were no screams, no signs of struggle. In the morning another would just be gone. We never found them, though we never looked. Always moving forward.
We stopped long after thoughts of my old home had left my mind. I no longer felt Gambi. It was as if the oerwoud have become part of me. I kept my thoughts silent while the few of us who survived sat, staring at the sea. None of us could remember the faces of those who were left in the oerwoud. We hoped their sacrifice had satisfied the new gods, the ocean gods. I prayed to them that they would be kinder and save me from oerwoud and the aujoki.
It didn’t take long for the ocean gods to forsake us.
The white men came, across the sea. He brought us pain and misery. We were too few and too weak to fight. Their bleached sales hung lazily from their massive ships.
They chopped off my father’s hands and raped my mother. Myself and the remaining survivors of the Gambi tribe were packed into rat infested holds stinking of shit, filled to the brim with other slaves.
The defeated Gambi were not the only ones the white men took on board their ship. As she lay dying, my mother cursed the men. When the slaves and white men began to disappear I knew the oerwoud had answered her, the aujoki was with us. When all crew and cargo were dead or dying she came for me. In her embrace I learned the truth of gods and mortals. She taught me the secrets of blood and of strength. When the ship arrived in the Americas nothing living remained and I made my way, born anew for a new world.