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The Vampire Origin Story

 

The Vampire Origin Story

 

Ambrogio was a young adventurer. Born and raised in

Italy, he had always longed to travel to Greece to have

his fortune told by the Oracle of Delphi. When he was an

adult, he got on a boat and sailed to the western edge of

Greece, near Astakos. He traveled east until he

eventually reached the city of Delphi.

Delphi was home to a great temple of Apollo the sun

god. It was also the home of the Pythia, better known as

the Oracles. The Pythia would sit in a chamber within

the temple and speak of prophecies, inspired by Apollo,

to those who came to seek the Oracle's wisdom.

When Ambrogio finally arrived at the temple, he went to

speak to the Pythia. The Pythia, whose words were

often cryptic, said only a few words: "The curse. The

moon. The blood will run."

He couldn't sleep that night. He stayed awake outside of

the temple, pondering the meaning of the Pythia's

words. As the sun rose in the morning he realized that

he had not slept. As he walked back toward the town he

saw a beautiful woman dressed in white robes walking to

the temple. He ran over to her and introduced himself.

name was Selene, and she was a maiden of the temple.

Her sister was the Oracle, and so Selene tended to the

temple and took care of her sister while in her entranced

state.

For the next few days every morning Ambrogio met

Selene at dawn before she entered the temple. They

soon fell in love.

On his last day in Greece, Ambrogio asked Selene to

marry him and return with him to Italy. She agreed. He

said he would make the preparations then meet her at

dawn the next morning at their meeting spot outside the

temple.

Apollo, the sun god, had been watching. He himself had

taken a liking to the beautiful Selene and was enraged

that Ambrogio would come to his temple and take one of

his maidens away. At sunset that night, Apollo appeared

to Ambrogio and cursed him so that from that day forth

a mere touch of Apollo's sunlight would burn Ambrogio's

skin.

Ambrogio was distraught. He was set to leave with

Selene in the morning, but he would not be able to meet

her at sunrise as he promised because of the curse.

Having nowhere else to turn, he ran to a cave that led to

Hades for protection. Hades, god of the underworld,

listened to his tale and made him a deal - if he could steal

the silver bow of Artemis and bring it back, Hades would

grant him and Selene protection in the underworld. The

deal specified that Hades would give Ambrogio a magical

wooden bow and 11 arrows to hunt with. He was to

offer his hunting trophies to Artemis in order to gain her

favor and steal her silver bow. As collateral, Ambrogio

had to leave his soul in Hades until he returned with the

bow. Should he return without the silver bow, he would

have to live in Hades forever, never to return to Selene.

Having no other choice, Ambrogio agreed.

He had no way to contact Selene. He had parchments,

but no writing implement, so he took his bow and arrow

and killed a swan. Using its feather as a pen, and its

blood as the ink, he wrote her a note explaining that he

could not meet with her but would find a way for them

to be together. He left the note in their meeting place

and ran off to find a place to hide from the sunlight.

Naturally, Selene was devastated when she found the

note, but she kept working at the temple as she did not

want to anger Apollo any further. The next morning,

Selene went back to the meeting place, but once again

Ambrogio was not there. She saw another piece of

parchment with writing in blood on it. It was a love poem

from Ambrogio.

Before morning for 44 days Ambrogio slew a swan and

used its blood to write Selene a love poem. After

draining the blood and taking a single feather he offered

the body of the swan as a tribute to Artemis, the goddess

of hunting and the moon, and also sister to Apollo. He

hoped that even if he could not steal her bow, she would

be honored by the tribute and would be able to convince

her brother Apollo to remove the curse.

On the 45th night, Ambrogio had only one arrow left. He

shot it at a swan and missed, the arrow sailing into the

distance. He had neither the blood to write Selene's

poem nor the swan to sacrifice to Artemis. He fell to the

ground and wept.

Seeing how good of a hunter and how dedicated of a

follower Ambrogio had been, Artemis came down to

him. He begged Artemis to let him borrow her bow and

an arrow so he could kill one last bird and leave one final

note to Selene.

Artemis took pity on him and agreed to let him borrow

her silver bow and an arrow. He took the bow, and in

desperation, ran to the cave that led to Hades. Artemis

realized what was happening and cast her own curse on

Ambrogio. The curse caused all silver burn his skin.

Ambrogio dropped the silver bow and fell to the ground

in pain.

Artemis was furious at his deceit, but he begged her for

forgiveness. He explained the deal he was forced to

make with Hades, his curse by Apollo, and his love for

Selene. He apologized profusely and swore that he had

no other choice.

Artemis took pity on him again and decided to give him

one last chance. She offered to make him a great hunter,

almost as great as she was, with the speed and strength

of a god and fangs with which to drain the blood of the

beasts to write his poems. In exchange for this

immortality, he would have to agree to a deal. He and

Selene would have to escape Apollo's temple and

worship only Artemis forever. The catch was that

Artemis was a virgin goddess, and all of her followers

had to remain chaste and unmarried, so Ambrogio was

never allowed to touch Selene again. They could never

kiss, never touch, never have children.

Ambrogio agreed. At least this way he and Selene could

be together. He killed another swan and left Selene a

note telling her to meet him on a ship at the docks.

Before dawn the next morning, she saw the note and ran

away before Apollo could notice.

When Selene arrived at the dock she found Ambrogio's

ship and met him down in the hull. There was a wooden

coffin with a note on it, telling her to order the ship's

captain to set sail, and to open the coffin only after the

sun had set. She did as the note said, and after sunset

she opened the coffin to find Ambrogio alive and well.

The couple sailed to Ephesus, where they lived in a cave

during the day and worshiped Artemis at her grand

temple every night. They lived happily together for

many years, never touching, never kissing, never having

children.

After a number of years, Ambrogio's immortality allowed

him to stay young, but Selene continued to age as a

mortal. She finally fell ill and was on her deathbed.

Ambrogio was distraught, knowing that he would not

join Selene in the afterlife because his soul still resided in

Hades. At night, he went into the woods and found a

white swan swimming alone in a small lake. He killed the

swan and offered it to Artemis, begging for her to make

Selene immortal so they could stay together forever.

Artemis appeared to him. Thankful for his years of

dedication and worship, she made him one last deal.

Artemis told Ambrogio that he could touch Selene just

once - to drink her blood. Doing so would kill her mortal

body, but from then on, her blood mixed with his could

create eternal life for any who drink of it. If he did this,

Artemis would see to it that they stayed together

forever.

Ambrogio wanted to refuse, but after telling Selene what

happened, Selene begged him to do it. After much

convincing, he bit her neck and took her blood into his

body. As he set her limp body down, Selene began to

radiate with light, and raise up to the sky. Ambrogio

watched as Selene's glowing spirit lifted to meet Artemis

at the moon. When she arrived, the moon lit up with a

brilliant light.

Selene became the goddess of moonlight, and every

night she would reach down with her rays of light to the

earth and finally touch her beloved Ambrogio as well as

all of their children - the newly created vampires who

carried the blood of Ambrogio and Selene, together.

 

 

 

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