Chapter 7: Gifts and Complications

So, I’ve never been a morning person, but lately, it’s been harder to wake up for work. Yes, I know it’s from the long nighttime conversations with Carmilla. Long distance sucks. It’s been a slow month, so I’ve been able to indulge these late nights with minimal disruption to work and life. I never pulled all-nighters in college. Finals week was the exception. Since becoming a private investigator, I’ve had many long nights, and I easily made it to the office by nine the next morning. Today was not one of those days.

Bright-eyed incoming freshmen and their sobbing parents crowded White Wolf Roasters this Monday morning in late July. In the four years since I dropped out of school, I forgot Orientation Week was a thing. Okay, so maybe “I blocked those memories out” would be more appropriate. I doubt anything had changed since I was a freshman. They introduced us to all the major offices on campus, gave us a guided tour of where our classrooms would be, begged us to ignore the library’s horrible mold and mildew problem, and let us meet the football team. It was a week of cafeteria food, administrators trying to lead us in school cheers, and sales pitches for spending as much money on campus as we could afford. I rolled my eyes at the thought.

The bell in Sepulchre of the Risen Saints’ tower tolled ten when I reached my office. I slouched through the door, extra large black coffee in hand, and yawned. Destiny flicked her hand away from scrolling on her phone, waved, and yawned. She sipped her mint and melon tea.

“There’s my favorite perpetually exhausted afternoon blue jay,” she said. “Another late night digitally roosting with your love bat?”

I rolled my eyes as she snorted. “Good morning to you too, Des. And yes. But we’re not lovers. We’ve only kissed once.”

Destiny rolled her eyes. “Well, you’ve never been late to work after hanging with me at night. Look, I’m not going to lecture you on this. I’m your friend, and I want you to know I’ve noticed—we’ve all noticed—how happy you are when you talk about Carmilla and spend time with her. You can keep denying it on one condition. Just admit that you see her as just a friend.”

I sipped my coffee and shuffled the paperwork on her desk. “Any word from the courts or Cassie this morning?”

“Since you answered my question,” Destiny said, a triumphant smile on her face, “I’ll answer yours. Nope. All quiet, Sam. Unless there’s a change, you’ll be in district court next Tuesday.”

I nodded. “Let’s hope it stays that way until we can figure out what to do about that Abhartach spirit.”

I walked into my private office, leaving the door open. All had been quiet on that front for the past week, and I was grateful for that. I’ve neglected that as I’ve spent virtual time with Carmilla. That’s not good. Cassie hasn’t reported any problems, but my instincts tell me that this isn’t over. I should google it. Sipping my coffee, I thought back to that strange dream I had at Cassie Walters’ house where I met Abhartach near standing stones in a verdant plain. My seven-year-old HP Pavilion whirred and sputtered as it powered on. I needed it to last another year so I could finish paying off this Civic.

I sipped my coffee as Firefox booted. My cell rang. I looked and saw Cassie Walters’ number. “Sam Hain, Private Investigator. How can I help you, Cassie?”

“Um, Miss Hain…” Her words crept from her lips. Even over the phone, I could feel her nervousness. “Is it normal to have someone from the government visit your clients after you help them?”

“My normal clients sometimes receive letters from either district or county court regarding their cases, but that’s not the case for my Full Moon Specials. What happened?”

Fuck! I knew what happened. The S-T’s sent an investigator. I wondered how they found out. The Stith Thompson Federal Agency Overseeing Non-Human Mythic Criminal Activity hired thorough agents who gave their heart to protect mortals and the secret of the Veil, but their powers were no greater than the FBI’s. Even though they were the closest thing to the legendary Men in Black, they needed probable cause to begin an investigation, and their protocols demanded secrecy.

“I was cleaning my kitchen when I heard a knock on the door. I answered and saw this man saying he was a federal agent. He flashed a badge, but I can’t say I recognized the agency. He said he heard that someone was going around and pretending to be a ghost to scare and assault women and asked if I had seen anything suspicious. I told him I hadn’t. He gave me his card and left. Said he might swing back in a few days. What’s happening?”

I sighed. Honestly, his honesty about being a fed shocked me. Usually they pose as amateur ghost hunters or reporters to keep cover. Odd.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with your case, Cassie. I think it’s just a coincidence. To be certain, give me his information. I’ll call him and see what’s going on. Okay?”

I scribbled the information on a sticky note and walked into the main office. Destiny filed paperwork in the cabinet, her back to me. A quick glance at her screen showed she’d been doom scrolling on Twitter while reading a cryptid sighting subreddit about a giant octopus in the Reflection Pool in DC. I grabbed a mug, filled it with coffee, and sat on the corner of Destiny’s desk. Destiny returned to her desk and pushed her blue blocker glasses higher on her nose.

“Hey, Sam. I heard you talking to Cassie. What’s the trouble?”

“S-T investigation.” I sipped my coffee. “An agent named Jeffery Smith visited her, asked some questions, and spooked her. I’ll call him after I head home for lunch and to feed Sandy.”

“So what line did they use this time? Paranormal investigators? Cryptid Con organizers? They could’ve at least given free t-shirts with that one.” She laughed, remembering previous interactions with the S-Ts.

“Nothing.” I sipped the coffee and shrugged. “He flashed his badge and said he was a federal agent. I doubt he named his agency. Said something about a man dressed as a ghost who assaulted women. I figure he was fishing for information.”

Destiny nodded. “We always identified ourselves as researchers from either a psychology or anthropology department at a university in a city on the other side of Germany. Dad still hasn’t changed that protocol. Anyway, you go home, eat, and give Sandy some cheekbone scritches from me. Okay?”

Sandy Paws remained sprawled on my old college sofa, her fluffy white belly displayed proudly, when I entered my apartment. She ignored me as I heated a Marie Callender chicken pot pie. When I popped the lid of her tin of Fancy Feast white meat chicken primavera—yes, my cat often eats better than I do—she was begging at my feet before I plated her meal. I scratched her ears while she ate and plopped on the sofa to have my lunch.

Halfway through my pot pie, someone knocked on my door. The knock sounded authoritative, trying to sound casual but failing. Great, that sounded like my fucking father’s initial knock. If I waited too long, his knock would change to that of a demanding toddler. And his mood would match. I didn’t want to deal with that, so I grumbled, set my lunch on the coffee table, and walked to the door.

“What do you want, dad? You’re not my shithead father.” I opened the door and saw a tall white male with broad shoulders and a slight paunch. He wore an ill-fitting charcoal suit, a white button-down shirt, and a navy tie with a messy Windsor knot. He kept his brown hair short—almost buzzed—and the golden flecks in his small, narrow-set blue eyes made him look younger than he was.

“No, ma’am, I’m Lieutenant Jeffery Smith, a federal agent and—”

“You’re the S-T agent who went to Cassie Waters to ask some questions about a bogus ghost, right?” I folded my arms across my chest.

“Uh, yeah.” He shifted nervously as I eyed him. “May I come in?”

I sighed and stepped out of the doorway. “Make it quick. I’m eating lunch.”

He nodded and stepped inside. I returned to my sofa, and Sandy Paws, sensing my annoyance, joined me. After a moment of petting her with one hand while eating with the other, she crawled onto my lap and begged for food. Mr. Smith laughed as he sank into the dusky rose beanbag chair angled from the sofa. After asking Sandy if she minded letting me eat, which I knew she didn’t, I turned to him and asked, “So, what do you want to know?”

He scratched his right ear before producing a pen and spiral-bound notebook from his lapel pocket. “Okay, first, to be clear, you are Samantha Blake Hain, daughter of Donal Hain, former Arch Magus of the Hermetic Order of the Astrum Argentum, and private investigator who often gets called upon to handle Veil Crossing incidents?”

“I drink to forget that second bit, but yes.” I stabbed a chicken chunk and ate it.

He nodded. “Noted. So, I see you know Miss Cassandra Waters. How do you know her?”

I rolled my eyes. He was obviously new to the agency, but his immediate self-identification as a federal agent suggested that. “I’m sure you already know this, since your agency has a reputation for thoroughness, but she hired me to investigate some odd dreams and night terrors.”

“I see.” He quickly scribbled notes. “And what supernatural involvement did you find?”

“Well, I didn’t find a man in a sheet pretending to be a ghost.” He attempted the Kubrick stare, which came across as a child trying to look threatening. I laughed. “I managed to halt the night terrors, but beyond that, per Section 17, Subsection 3-C of the Cortes-Sanders Act, unless you have sufficient evidence of an unauthorized Veil Piercing directly involving my client, the details of my case are confidential. And as your higher ups will tell you, when those incidents occur, I both comply with and defer to law enforcement.”

“Chief said you would say that.” He sighed. “Look, if you’re going to comply anyway, why don’t you just tell me everything now? That way, we can avoid any complicated issues.”

I leaned forward and narrowed my eyes. “As I’m sure you’ve already been told, I am licensed to handle supernatural investigations as a P. I. as well as being licensed to handle mundane investigations. My first duty is to protect my client. I will say this one more time. If you have sufficient evidence of an unauthorized Veil Piercing, present it, and I will comply.”

His shoulders slumped, and he sighed. “I see this won’t go anywhere. Chief said you could be stubborn. If you decide to be helpful, I’ll leave my card. Just know that we’re watching.”

He produced a business card and placed it on the table. I nodded and rose. Sandy whined as I left the sofa. I escorted Mr. Smith to the door and opened it. He left, reminding me again that they were watching. I nodded. As he walked away, I closed the door and sighed. I didn’t need the pressure of their investigation. They weren’t as likely to kill Cassie as the Duilearga or the Grimms were, but they had no qualms about ruining someone’s life over accidentally discovering humans weren’t alone here. I texted Destiny to update her on this visit and finished my lunch before returning to the office.

Sam arrived at the office early on Tuesday morning. With coffee in hand, she stared at a map of the Veiled Heights district she framed atop a cork board. She placed two push pins, one white and one black, over Cassie Waters’ home. She scribbled Cassie’s experience with the spirit on a sticky note and placed it beside the pins. A green push pin punctured the map where the Walsers’ Irish neighbors, the O’Broins, once lived. She added sticky notes for both the curse they placed on the Walsers and for the contents of the witch bottle.

She stared at the map, sipping her coffee, for half an hour before she sighed and then said, “I don’t fucking know why I’m looking at this. That spirit hasn’t been active since I sent him packing, and he could be anywhere or nowhere.”

“Maybe we should figure out exactly what that spirit is before we become frustrated,” Destiny said as she entered the office, a Sailor Moon Crystal lunchbox in her hand.

“I know, Des. It’s just that I don’t know what the S-Ts know about what’s going on, and that makes me nervous. Plus, we’ve already established that this Abhartach gets violent when he’s unhappy. I don’t want him hurting anyone else.”

Destiny nodded. “Well, I’m expecting more translations from that old lady’s diary either today or tomorrow. I asked Fritz and Jendrick to annotate them. That should make it easier for us to figure out what to do.”

Sam agreed. She sipped her coffee and stared at the map, shaking her head. “I just wish I had one lead right now. Just one.”

Destiny placed her hand on Sam’s shoulder. “I know, Sam. That’s why we do what we do. Say, you’re here early. No all-night phone call?”

Sam shook her head. “No,” she said. “Carmilla needed her sleep. She has to be in Vienna by three this afternoon for a meeting. She didn’t seem thrilled by it.”

“You’ve mentioned she gets fainty when she’s out in daylight, so I’d wager she’d rather hop on Skype for this meeting. I can’t say I blame her. Meetings without pants are the best meetings.”

Pantsless meetings? Sam bit her lip as her mind drifted. She twirled her hair around her finger, imagining Carmilla seated at her desk wearing a tailored black blazer over a burgundy silk blouse with lace handkerchief cuffs and nothing below her waist save for a pair of stockings. Destiny continued speaking, but Sam heard none of it. When she exhaled while fanning herself, Destiny cackled, snapping her from her imagination.

“Oh, sorry, what were you saying?”

“Oh, nothing important,” Destiny said, waving a mockingly dismissive hand. “I just mentioned that Maria Johnson called and asked you to come over for something odd happening.”

“Fuck! I was afraid this might happen. You coming?”

Destiny shook her head. “Nah, I’m going to stay for the mail. Give my best to her family.”

Janus and Maria Johnson, along with their five children, lived in a two story, Alice blue, low-country cottage surrounded by large front and back yards and a white picket fence. When Sam arrived, Maria’s cosmic silver Buick Enclave sat in the driveway as their oldest daughter Hannah Rose sat in a lawn chair and played on her phone, occasionally lifting a glance to watch Benjamin, Jacen, and Ashlyn as they played with water pistols amidst the sprinklers. Sam parked, greeted the kids, and rang the doorbell.

Maria kept her thick black hair in tight braids pulled behind her ears. Her copper highlighter illuminated the reddish undertones of her sepia skin. She smiled at Sam, her brown eyes glowing with the warmth of a gentle hearth. Dressed in a mustard and black plaid fit and flare dress with a white Peter Pan collar, she held a green and gold mug in her hand. After they hugged, Maria escorted Sam into the kitchen and offered her a seat in the breakfast nook.

As Maria busied herself in the kitchen, Sam asked, “So, coffee talk time?”

“You can have coffee if you want, Sam. It’s a whiskey morning today.”

They laughed. “I hear that, barkeep. I’ll take a double on the rocks.”

Maria dropped two ice cubes into a red and gold mug, poured the Palmetto Whiskey, and handed it to Sam. She sat opposite her friend and sighed. They spent a few moments catching up and laughing. Maria glanced out the window, watching the kids as they played.

Sam sipped the rye whiskey. “So, what’s going on?”

Maria sighed and sipped her whiskey-filled mug. “I really don’t know, Sam. And I’m not asking for a favor or a free investigation. It’s just the last couple of days we’ve had some strange things happening.”

“What kind of strange? Dreams? Poltergeist activity? Rayna stirring up trouble?”

Maria snorted, smiled, and shook her head. “Rayna’s being her usual nosy busybody self. I gave birth to the only poltergeists here.” They laughed. Maria scratched her head, saying, “And no dreams. I know Janus and I have both heard flute and fiddle music, and I know neither of us have any music like that. Ashlyn, Ben, and I have heard footsteps when no one was around. Janus and Hannah have both lost their balance while walking or sitting at the dinner table and claimed they felt someone push them. I just want to know what’s going on. Cassie next door had similar problems, and I sent her to you for help.”

Sam nodded and sipped the whiskey. She chuckled and said, “Yeah, I don’t think she realizes the neighborhood she moved into, but I’m glad she has you for a neighbor. But yeah, I took care of the problem for her, but something strange happened. I’m not sure what, so I’m still looking into everything connected to the case. You haven’t been visited by the S-T’s, have you?”

Maria thought for a moment before shaking her head. “No. Can’t say we have. Rayna says Cassie has.” She chuckled. “Must be a rookie. He didn’t even try to hide being a federal agent.”

Sam smiled. “I know. He visited me, and it took everything in me to be only a little bitchy about his lack of subtlety. Anyway, I figured something like this might happen. I’m not sure what this thing is. It’s not something I’ve read about or encountered before, but I am looking into it. Just keep me posted on what’s going on. Okay?”

Hannah Rose stormed into the kitchen, calling for her mother. Water, mud, and grass stains soiled her clothes. She narrowed her eyes and thrust her phone forward. “Mom, Ben and Ian shot me with their pistols and got my phone wet, and then they pushed me into the sprinklers.”

Sam bit her lip to stifle laughter, and Maria hid her laughter behind her hand. Hannah glared at them, causing both to erupt in laughter. When Maria composed herself, she said, “Oh, honey, this wouldn’t have happened if you’d put the phone down and watch your siblings like I asked you to. Your clothes can be washed, and your phone will dry. Let’s wipe it clean, get you changed, and you go back out there. I’ll join you all when Miss Sam and I finish talking.”

Hannah groaned in exasperation. “Fine. Have you asked Miss Sam if she’s coming to the cookout on Saturday?”

“I haven’t asked her yet,” Maria said. She turned to Sam and raised an eyebrow. “But the invitation is out there, Sam. Same time as usual.”

Sam nodded and smiled. “Probably. I mean, it’ll depend on if I have a date this weekend or not.”

“A date!” Both Maria and Hannah shouted as their eyes widened. Maria pushed her daughter from the kitchen, directing her to change clothes and return to watching her siblings. As the young girl scuttled away, Maria leaned forward and, with a wry smile, asked, “And when was this news going to make it to the Veiled Heights?”

Sam raised the mug to her lips. “I’m surprised it didn’t. We were at Fang and Fire for a quick bite last week between the zoo and the Erin Zed art exhibition.”

Maria thought for a moment. “Ashlyn had a soccer game.” She cackled. “Oh, I’m going to know the scoop before Rayna. You know she’s invited too, and you’ll have to tell me all about her.”

Sam inhaled. “I’ll see if she’s free. I mean, I think that whole werewolf and vampire feud thing is just Hollywood, right?”

“Vampire, eh?” Maria scratched the side of her nose. “Well, our cookouts are in the evening, just saying.”

Sam rolled her eyes and chuckled. She then described Carmilla, focusing on her work, her drive to help others, and her passion for art. She discussed the challenges of a long-distance relationship while being grateful that technology allowed them to see and hear each other daily—or rather nightly. Sam highlighted Carmilla’s compassion, gentleness, and strength.

“My only worry is that she’s so guarded. “Like, I know there’s the something she’s afraid to tell me, Maria, but I can tell that she wants me to know about it.”

Maria reached across the table and took Sam’s hand in hers. She smiled. “Give her time. You already know she’s a vampire, and that means she’s lived a life much longer than you or I will. My experience has been that vampires tend to live in the past. She may be looking toward the future with one eye, but that other still hasn’t let go of something that’s big to her. Trust the process. And don’t you be U-Hauling over to Austria any time soon.”

Sam’s phone rang, and she saw Destiny’s name on the caller ID. She answered, and Destiny said, “Sam, a large package arrived for you today. Seems important.”

Sam stopped by White Wolf Roasters on her way back to the office. With her coffee in hand, she entered and saw a large cuboid package on Destiny’s desk. Destiny sipped her tea with an expectant look on her face. She handed Sam the package. The international postage and return address revealed this package came from Austria. Sam’s eyes widened, and a smile spread across her face. She clutched the package to her chest and sighed. Destiny clicked her mouse, causing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to play over her computer speakers. Sam blinked.

“Sam, this isn’t a movie. Open it! I need to know what she sent you.”

Sam used her keys to rip the tape securing the package. She opened the box, reached her hand inside, and pulled out a massive watercolor portrait of herself standing against the Spring Hill Street Fire Station balcony railing the night of the Zed exhibition. Sam blushed. Destiny stood behind her and whistled. Sam jumped, turned her head, and shot her friend a curious but annoyed glare. Destiny shrugged.

“You said she was into watercolors. You didn’t say she was amazing. Wow, so realistic and detailed but it still has that fuzzy haze that makes watercolor paintings look surreal and dreamy.”

Sam’s breathing slowed. She nodded and said, “I can’t believe she would do this. I mean, the amount of work and care that went into this.”

“Yeah, I mean flowers are nice and all, but this is impressive.”

Destiny shook the box. An envelope fell to the floor. A burgundy wax seal bound the seal flap to the back flap. Closer inspection revealed this to be a letter folded similar to the Regency style and sealed with the coat of arms for the Karnstein family—a badger attacking a dragon. Destiny handed Sam the letter.

“What’s this?” Sam popped the seal and unfolded the letter.


I have hope that this letter reaches you and finds you well. My intuition tells me that you felt some trepidation over my enjoyment of our last meeting. That saddens me. In all honesty, the cuisine at the restaurant was not unappetizing, but the decor was not to my tastes. However, spending nearly one-third of a full day with you more than made the dining experience enjoyable for me. I would repeat the entire day again on a day when it was not so oppressively hot and humid. Perhaps an autumnal walk through the forests or some of the mountains near your home? I hope that is not too presumptive and forward of me.

I also hope that you enjoy the image of you that I have painted. Everything—even the underlying sketch—is from my memories of that evening. The two evenings I have spent with you have brought me great joy, and I hope they have brought you joy as well. I realize that the geographical distance between us increases the yearning felt between moments together, and we also face challenges due to our schedules and our natural cycles. However, I have confidence that, should you also desire this to continue, we can, together, conquer these challenges.

Finally, I apologize if my meaning is unclear, so I will state that I desire to spend more time with you. There is a place I would greatly like to take you, but I remember you mentioning that you had upcoming dates in court for three of your clients. Am I correct? However, once you have completed those tasks, I believe what I have planned will be something you would enjoy and would be a way for you to relax. I look forward to our next telephone conversation.

Yours with dear affection,


Sam blinked twice and then exhaled. Her smile broadened. “She has something planned for our next date, but she didn’t say what it was.”

I’m glad one of you is capable of planning, Destiny thought before saying, “That’s great, Sam. I just hope it won’t interfere with the court dates you have next week.”

“She mentioned it might have to wait until after. Think she’ll tell me what it is early? I’m going to call her.”

Sam scooped the painting and the letter and walked into her office. She returned and grabbed her coffee from Destiny’s desk. She hung the painting beside her private investigator license. Sam snapped a photograph and sent it to Carmilla. While she waited for a response, she checked and responded to any important email messages. After she read five emails, Sam’s phone illuminated as Carmilla texted her.

“Do you truly like it?”

Without hesitation, Sam called Carmilla. She twirled her hair around her finger and said, “I loved it. It’s so beautiful, and I’m flattered—honored even—-that you did that. But, um, how was your day?” Sam looked at the clock. “I guess it’s just starting.”

“That is correct.” Carmilla laughed. “I awoke a mere half an hour ago. Now, I soak in a lavender bath while sipping wine. I have no meetings, so I can spend my night relaxing while I respond to emails, advise any members of my clan who need such aid and—perhaps—talk to you.”

Sam bounced in her chair, blushing. She scratched her ear. “And I can give you time to handle your business stuff while I head home and fix dinner. If you wanted to talk later, too. But, well, I was wondering what you had planned for our next evening together?”

Carmilla’s lips curled into a smirk. “I suppose you do not wish to be surprised?”

Sam spun in her chair before shifting positions and tucking her legs beneath her. “I mean, sure. I guess. You don’t want to tell me now?”

Destiny’s voice resonated from her desk as she said, “Sie hat keine Geduld.”

Sam pursed her lips and glared at Destiny. Carmilla chuckled. “I see I will have to teach you patience.”

Sam’s jaw dropped incredulously. She slumped her shoulders and pouted. “I have patience. Destiny, why would you say that? Anyway, your letter, Countess Karnstein, suggested that you were both excited to tell me and nervous to learn my reaction to your idea. Therefore, I suggest you tell me what you have in mind.”

The office door opened, and Destiny greeted the UPS delivery driver. Destiny signed for the package; he handed her a sealed manilla envelope the size of a large cat. Destiny thanked him and offered him a cold water bottle from their mini fridge. He accepted and left. The package contained a spiral-bound mass of papers adorned with copious footnotes; the annotated translation of Great Grandmother Walser’s diary had arrived. She scanned the translation for key dates and words while Sam and Carmilla continued their conversation.

Carmilla smiled and licked her lips, baring her fangs. A wicked, smiling flame illuminated her eyes. Her voice purred, and she drew out each syllable as she said, “Well, I suppose that I will tell you this, Samantha. What I am planning will require clearing five days for travel and relaxation. I will make all arrangements. All you will need to do is pack your luggage and be certain your passport is valid. How does that sound?”

Five days? Well, that rules out U-Hauling. I’ll need my passport, so that means international travel. Austria? France? I wonder what she has in mind? But that means at least three days alone with Carmilla. And relaxing? How? A cabin in the woods where we cuddle by a fire? An Alpine chalet? It’s summer, so it can’t be anything like that, right? Why won’t she just tell me?

“My passport is current.” Sam’s words rushed from her lips. She winced at the unbridled excitement in her voice. “And a relaxing long weekend sounds amazing—especially for a third date.”

Sam’s voice lifted as she finished, curious for Carmilla’s reply. Silence filled the phone. After a few moments, Carmilla said, “A date. Yes, I suppose that is the word used these days for what we have been doing. So much has changed.” Her voice sounded bemused. “Yes, our third date. However, you need to complete your services for your clients before the courts before we can meet for what I have planned. If I make plans for two weeks from this Friday, should that be acceptable?”

Sam checked her calendar. “From this Friday? Let me see. Actually, a week from Friday should be fine. I’ve only got appointments on Thursday and Monday, so that will give me time to handle everything and pack. So where are we going?”

Carmilla laughed again. “I will tell you,” she said, “when we arrive. We will converse later this evening, but now I must finish my bath. See you soon.”

As the call ended, Sam sank into her chair and sighed. A smile crossed her lips. “She called it our third date. We’re dating. Destiny, we’re dating!”

Destiny, holding the translation in her hands, leaned on the door frame and said, “Been telling you that, Sam. And I’m about to complicate things before you make this Facebook official. That spirit creature thing, Abhartach? Turns out he was a dwarf and an Irish chieftain. He rises from his grave, drinks blood, and can only be killed by piercing his heart with a sword made of yew. He’s an Irish vampire.”

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