Bertrand du Fortunesa. French Nobility growing up in Italy, to best please his maternal Grandfather. Well, his Father was ambassador, and his mother was such a beauty that the elder du Fortunesa would have given his own life to please her. Turns out he did – there had always been rumours of connections to the Borgias, completely unfounded but enough to lend credence to the ruthless streak that ran through his whole family. An Auditore by his mother's blood, Bertrand was raised to be every part the noble as they would see it. Which, for an Auditore, was of course training as an Assassin.
Being an Assassin was a hard life, and Bertrand's Mother had warned him of the sacrifices involved. The best Assassin could not allow themselves to become involved with the everyday, mundaneness of life. They must put aside their need for attachments until their last mission was complete, for gaining any sort of attachment while aligned to the Brotherhood surely meant that Assassin's death. Bertrand understood, taking the words to heart and making them his aim for life. He would become a Master Assassin, determined to do so at a younger age than any before. It couldn't be done, they said, but they had never met any like Bertrand du Fortunesa before. He put his mind to the task, and his training was intense.
There is a claim that those who work towards a goal simple-mindedly are those who cannot succeed at life. Be this as it may, Bertrand reached his goal. A Master Assassin at 22, and years to go before he was ever likely to consider leaving the Brotherhood. He was sent on many missions, completing them with a cold efficiency that was remarked upon as being a sign of his own maturity, his own ability to do the job that was place before him without fuss. It was this cold efficiency that lead to Bertrand being hunted down by the Vampire Grand High Council.
He did not come quietly; slaying two of their oldest members before the third finally managed to sink their fangs into his neck, before succumbing to the same fate as his fellow two members. Bertrand had screamed, and the darkness that enveloped him had to fight to do so. The blood can fight the change, it is said, and the blood of a du Fortunesa was always going to be stubborn. It had taken months for the change to be final, and if Bertrand could remember any of it 400 years later, it would only be a memory of pain and blood and nothing beyond that.
Bertrand wasn't the only one turned that year for the role that the Grand High Council had in mind. There were five others, three female, two male. It wasn't for a week that they were all informed of their purpose. One of them, only one, was to serve as the mentor to the long-awaited Chosen One when they finally showed. The question was simply which one of the six would fill this role. Despite what Bertrand would have thought, it wasn't a matter of just eliminating the competition – vamp on vamp violence was strictly forbidden and besides which, they would find 'uses' for the others when the time came.
When Bertrand was first turned, there were six of them in total. By the time the true Chosen One made himself, Bertrand had long been the only one of the six left.
The first to go was one of the males. In his breather life, he had been a remarkable vampire hunter, one who had begun to sympathise with their kind. However, he had been unable to “deal” with the change, and had willing went to meet the sun. He had lasted all of a few hours. One down, four to go.
The second lasted five years. She was as hedonistic as one could possibly get, motivated entirely by her lust for her own unlife. As a breather, she had been the daughter of a prominent politician, and had shown remarkable aptitude and cunning for a breather female of the time. She understood how to play the game, and follow the path it took. The freedom that dark offered her she had found too overwhelming, falling quickly into lust, and desire. Her demise came when her prey, a beautiful boy with thick curls and bow lips, gave her an acute type of blood poisoning. At that time, there was no cure, and the four left to watch as she crumbled outward, slowly becoming ashes.
It was a stark warning, and the four left separated not long after that.
He did not keep track, but two more died in quick succession, male and female both. The details were murky, hushed by the Council, but Bertrand had never been one to not let his curiosity go unsatisfied. To an extent. Though by now the Brotherhood had long since fallen from his mind, he was a Master Assassin and even the most complicated of locks gave way to him. The information he had found had confirmed what his by now long-dead Mother had told him when he was a child; it would not do to give into the need for attachments, and that emotions would would only lead to a person's downfall. The two, he had discovered, had each fallen for a breather. They had become careless in their efforts to see their respective pets, and had forgotten who they were, and what they were. There was a reason fraternising with breathers was strictly forbidden, and they had learnt the price of it.
He also learnt the price of his turning. He had been betrayed for a handsome sum, and he wished that the money comforted those long dead, as he spat on their graves, cursing the turning. There were advantages to being who he was. And he was still forever Bertrand du Fortunesa, but he had never gotten rid of resentment still clinging over the turning.
The last to die was possibly the nearest Bertrand could call a friend, and it was in that friendship that Bertrand slayed her himself. Height of the Second World War, and it had been ordered by the Grand High Vampire of the time that the usual rules were to be put to the side, that this was not something they could hide from. She had been amongst a group captured, and he had been sent in. (He was the only one who could be sent in, the only one who had toe skill to do so without ending up dust in the air.) She had been experimented on, twisted beyond belief and the blood that ran from her nails was as disturbing to him as it was to the breathers of the corps who had accompanied him on the rescue mission.
The battle was long, and bloody, and he received scars that he would never loose. On her death, her face relaxed, and she thanked him. He was nearing 400 years of age, and it was that smile and thank you that would haunt him for 400 more. He was the rightful tutor, he had proven himself long ago, but now it was official. It would be nearly 70 years before he met the Chosen One. He realised after th fact that he had never bothered to learn the names of the other five. They had meant nothing to him. They were but blockades on the road to his destiny, and surely they all deserved the deaths they suffered. Every last one of them.
It took 70 years for him to come to terms with his destiny.
He realised the other five were lucky. They escaped.
Now he couldn't.