Night, the silk-enshrouded demon sister of the day.
Night; the home of mysteries and murders, of fear and passion, eternity and chaos.
Night, the words on a the brass embossed plaque at the wrought iron gate, which stood like an implacable guard dog eternally baring it’s steel teeth at anyone who dared come anywhere near the estate. Often enough, the warning growl of the motors signaled the passage of some shiny black limo or gleaming Lamborghini, and then silence.
That was all. No pedestrians strayed this far up the hill; no bored city-folk or errant tourists chanced by the imposing gates or reinforced concrete walls. There were no hikers or thrill seekers, despite the surpassing view. Few animals, even, dared proximity. The lush grass was untouched by any herbivore, and the thick woods were free of birdsong, the rustling of insects… and yet, a dreamy perfume hung over the area like a shroud. The air was cool, the skies were crystalline blue and one could see for miles – to the city in the east, to the mountains in the west, even the boggy forest to the south looked like a fairytale all wrapped in delicate strands of pearly mist.
To the North, then? What fantastic scene of impossible splendor awaited the gaze of an equally impossible viewer? And here, the mind becomes truly boggled. For there, somehow removed from the mountains and the city, somehow far greater, there was a quality of the world that was not of the world. There was, in fact, nothing.
Nothing at all.
They called it “the Gate,” the ones that used the impossible estate. It was certainly a gate of sorts, in that many creatures went into it; many humans. But of course, nothing it was, and nothing had ever returned. If there was a way back, no one ever chose to take it. The Gate was visible to the part of the mind that deals with the impossible, the divine, and the unknown. At first, it would be invisible, but slowly that dormant part of the mind would awaken, and with absolute wonder, the body would be enthralled like a mouse before a cobra. Worse, that mouse laughed as it dashed happily down the throat of the serpent.
The Night family did not know the purpose of the gate, nor whether it was sentient or elemental in nature. They simply knew that it was there, and that the one place in the world that was safe from its power was the hill where they had built their stronghold. It was also the only place that the Gate was visible-and that made it vulnerable. It was a Thing that thrived on mystery, that repelled any attempts to learn about it. And that was the purpose of the Night, a society or family nearly as mysterious as the Gate-they were amassing knowledge the way an emperor amasses armies, preparing for a great battle.
Or rather, the War.