Check out our episode here! House of Night Novellas by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
Opening in modern day Oklahoma at the funeral pyre of Jack, Dragon Lankford, Sword Master of the Tulsa House of Night, stands vigil, the flames bring back memories, he feels the locket in his pocket with the etching of a bluebird on it. His mind wanders to Anastasia, his dead mate. He is now only filled with anger and the need for revenge when he should be remembering his oath, “to temper strength with mercy.”
Human Bryan Lankford is the third son of the Earl of Lankford, he isn’t the heir or the spare and when he is involved in an altercation with the Scottish Laird and his daughter who neighbors his father’s estate, the Earl ships him off to the Americas. Bryan is cocky, a hot head and full of his own looks and self worth, frankly he’s a douche. With only his sword and his wits he is meant to survive. However! By the time they get to the docks he has contracted a plague of some coughing variety and the captain won’t take him aboard. It is during one of these coughing fits, as he lies on the chicken shit covered cart that a mysterious figure emerges from the shadows. The figure is tall, lean, pale, and has a crescent moon on his forehead, and then he speaks... “Bryan Lankford! Night has chosen thee; thy death will be thy birth. Night calls to thee; hearken to Her sweet voice. Your destiny awaits you at the House of Night!” And to America they go.
Tower Grove House of Night, St. Louis, 1833
The newly hired Spells and Rituals teacher, 22-year-old Anastasia, is talking with the High Priestess, Pandeia, and her mate, Diana. Anastasia tells them about being approached by fledglings (a total of fifteen fledglings, thirteen girls and two boys) begging for love spells with which to ensnare Dragon Lankford. To counteract this, Anastasia asks permission to perform a drawing spell, to show the fledglings the truth about Dragon.
On the night of the drawing spell, it starts off without any problems. As Anastasia is about to sprinkle the first pinch of salt into the earth candle, she speaks Dragon’s name and he comes bumbling through the trees shouting that she is in danger of a bear. She isn’t, he is overreacting. The bear is only curious AND she is a full frickin’ vampyre who can take care of herself and his blundering has disrupted her spell work. For Nyx’s sake... Only, when everything has been literally thrown into the air, Anastasia receives a vision of an older, fully changed vampyre Dragon and he’s all lovey-dovey and totally understands that as a fledging he’s an immature ass but does get better AND he addresses her as “his own” AND he’s like suave and hot. To put the cherry on the cake though, future Dragon says he needs her love to help him change and mature into the man he could be.
Now we have some awkward banter between a young, formerly Quaker professor and an arrogant womanizing fledgling which results in Anastasia telling him about the drawing spell and Dragon participating in it. As the spell works its way through St. Louis, Sheriff Biddle, who has been causing the House of Night some headaches, says to the creature he has held captive that he needs more power to bring down that snot-nosed brat, Dragon Lankford! He wants all the vampyres to burn.
After Anastasia and Dragon close the circle, they kiss. Unexpected but not unwanted. As they make googoo eyes Anastasia feels something cold and they hear the flap of wings. Could it be a black bird the native tribes of the area believe carry bad omens? For the next few days they continue to give each other longing looks and Dragon leaves a fresh Sunflower for her each morning. Meanwhile Sheriff Biddle interrupts a ritual by the Dark Daughters. Something must be done. Dragon and the other warriors in training will watch the Dark Daughters during ritual, Anastasia will set a peace spell.
Shortly after the council meeting Anastasia and Dragon travel to the jailhouse as Biddle’s seat of power to cast the spell. Anastasia is very uneasy with the atmosphere. The creature in the jailhouse can feel Anastasia casting the spell, and that she is essentially alone as she has ordered Dragon to be at a distance so that his warrior side does not interfere with the peace spell. This works in Biddle’s favor as he is able to sneak up to Dragon and disarm him, choking him against an oak tree. Anastasia tries to save him, instead Biddle charged with foul evil disables Anastasia and drag her into the jailhouse to rape her in front of the thing in the cage that is neither human or bird but made up of shadows and nightmares.
Anastasia is able to surround herself with a salt circle when a sword is plunged through Biddle. Dragon is fully immersed as a warrior kills the Sheriff and turns to slay the creature when Anastasia stops him, seeing a vision of him in the future where he has no mercy. As he agrees to be the warrior she wants him to be he falls to the ground and receives his full vampyre mark.
Back at the funeral pyre, Dragon throws Anastasia’s locket into the fire saying “I no longer have a priestess. I no longer am bound to my oath. Without you, Anastasia, I am only the dragon, and a dragon does not temper strength with mercy.” as the white bull watches on.
It's 1788. Lenobia Whitehall is the bastard daughter of the Baron of Bouillon. Her sister Cecile Marson de la Tour d'Auvergne, the legitimate daughter of the Baron, was about to be sent to New Orleans to be married, but has unexpectedly died. Her death, however, will give Lenobia a new life. Her mother plans to sneak her to New Orleans instead to get her away from France and away from the eyes of the Bishop of Évreux who likes the girls and boys at the church they attend. Likes likes them. Eww... In addition to his predilections, he also is drawn to fire, can wield it, and has done so against those who have spurned his advances. The archbishop of the church, by order of the pope, banishes him to New Orleans. It's either that, or he's burned at the stake. To New Orleans he goes. On the same ship as Lenobia. Uh oh.
Lenobia, as Cecile, befriends the nun, Sister Marie Madeleine, who will be watching over the casquette girls that are being sent to the new world to be married. As they board the ship, Lenobia turns to see the Bishop also boarding the ship. She and the rest of the mademoiselles are shown to their quarters by Martin, a handsome Creole stable hand. He has beautiful olive green eyes and Lenobia is quite taken by him immediately. In order to hide from the Bishop, Lenobia feigns illness, takes her meals in her quarters and only leaves before dawn to stretch her legs. On one of her walks, she sees the Bishop and runs below to the crew area to hide. This is where she finds two beautiful Percheron horses. She begins visiting them daily as they bring her so much peace and happiness. Martin finds her there and they become fast friends.
Weeks pass. Martin brings food to Lenobia as she still has to pretend to be sick to avoid the bishop. They become very close and discuss his family and heritage and what her life will be like as a casquette girl. She nearly professes her love for him, but he shoots her down. He is Creole, too dark skinned to pass for white and so they can never be together. He asks her not to come back. As she's walking back to her quarters, sad and thinking about how much she loves Martin, she runs into the Bishop who recognizes her as Lenobia immediately. As he is sleazing on her, sister Marie Madeleine finds them. The Bishop outs her immediately. The sister is okay with it and will keep her safe until they arrive in New Orleans but everyone else shuns her. The Bishop is furious that the nun is protecting Lenobia and decides he has to do something about it. Lenobia and Martin declare their love for one another and even though they can never be married, they will be together. The Bishop sleazes on Lenobia again and the nun shows up just in time. The next morning during prayers, the bishop causes the nun to be engulfed in flames. She leaps over the side of the ship to her death. But the Bishop isn't done yet. He comes for Lenobia again, but this time he is stopped by Martin who casts a blood curse on him. Any pain he causes to Lenobia will come back ten fold.
When they reach the new world, Lenobia becomes ill. The nuns arrive to take the girls to an abbey but Lenobia is not able to walk on her own. The abbess asks the Bishop to escort Lenobia. Of course he will! She begs to stop and is left in a stable. The abbess will return with a hospital cart. A vampyre tracker shows up then and Marks Lenobia. The Bishop leaves in disgust. Martin arrives shortly thereafter, he had been following to make sure she was okay. He swears himself to her and tells the tracker he is her mate. Well, not quite yet since she's only a fledgling, but he can come with them to the house of night. How wonderful! But oh no. The Bishop is back and he's furious. He sets Martin and the stable on fire. Martin, with his last bit of strength, grabs the bishop so they both burn together. Lenobia is devastated. The tracker comes back to get her but she doesn't want to leave. She wants to die with her mate. A horse nuzzles her then and the tracker realizes that Nyx has gifted Lenobia with an affinity for horses. She convinces Lenobia that Nyx has more for her to do, so she can't just stay there and die. Lenobia vows never to love another man and the two leave for the House of Night.
Emily Wheiler’s Journal. Entry: the first.
This isn’t a diary, it is a record of events. Emily feels she is going mad and this book will provide evidence. It begins in November 1892, Emily’s mother died giving birth to her brother. Emily was witness to the tide of blood that left her after delivering her baby stillborn, she sat in shadow in the window seat, her mother needed her to see what being a wife and mother means. The moment of Alice Wheiler’s death changed so much of Emily’s life, suddenly her father took notice of her, no longer the distant patriarch like so many fathers of the time. Suddenly she was the lady of Wheiler house.
Emily fell into a depressive mourning for 2 months, barley eating, barely sleeping, seeing no one but the servants. Until January 5th 1893 when she is forced by her father to take her mother's place, she will join him for dinner each evening sitting in her mother’s place and in society sitting on her mother’s charitable committees. At first this feels wonderful, she is being treated like the true Lady of Wheiler house, her father listens to her as he talks business, her suggests on what to wear and of the upcoming Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition. But then he gives her the burning look and his remarks upon her likeness to her mother turn from praise to something uncomfortable.
Emily’s friendships begin to deteriorate in favor of entertaining her mother's friends. At first their visits are cut short by her father, she is restricted from visiting them and is called home by the servants almost as if she is an errant child. She is no longer permitted to go cycling with them or be part of events being held by the Hermes Bicycle Club, a pastime she adored and her mother encouraged, where she met Arthur Simpton, a man who Emily is enamored with, but then so is most of society. Emily tries to confide her worries and situation with her best friend Camille, but she doesn’t understand seeing only a protective father mourning his wife and keeping his only relative close. Camille herself seems to be on course to be courted by Arthur, this hurts Emily.
Things get worse for Emily when her father returns home drunk and asks if Emily/Alice will break her frigid rules and allow her to join him in bed. Emily tries to persuade herself that it is the alcohol that made her father mistake her for her mother but she is emotionally thrown by the exchange and retreats to her mother's garden, where at its center is a fountain of a bull, it is supposed to be a depiction of Zeus in the form he tricks Europa. That night Emily dreams she is Europa and the bull carries her away to a meadow where she is eternally young and beautiful.
Emily never waits up for her father again but hears him outside her room. He continues to give her burning looks. Dinner time changes, his wine consumption grows though she has it watered down. She feels like she is being lost to the image of being Lady of Wheiler House, people begin to treat her differently with deference the position brings yet she is becoming more and more her fathers prisoner, he restricts her movements, her social calls, her bicycle riding and then starts insisting she is to dress in her mothers clothes. She finds only solace in the gardens at night. In one rare visit with Camille they talk of the local House of Night and how the vampyre society is matriarchal, Emily admits “Were I a vampyre, I could choose not to be trapped by my father into pretending to be my mother.” Camille doesn’t understand. She can never understand how her father is turning her into a slave and his imaginary wife. Camille is dolt.
In April, there is some good news at least. Arthur Simpton returns her regard and Emily starts to dream of being a true wife and mother. It has been 6 months since Alice died and they can reenter society properly, coming out of full mourning. Beckett Wheiler has decided that his daughter is to host a small gathering of his colleagues who are investing in the World’s Columbian Exposition in 2 days. Emily frantically organizes and pulls off a delightful dinner where one of the guests is Arthur Simpton in the place of his father who is suffering a terrible bout of gout. Though initially uncomfortable dressed in her mother's clothes, Emily is the consummate hostess. After the men retire for brandy and cigars, Emily bids them goodnight. Instead of retiring to her room she goes to her garden, and laughs and giggles joyously with the success of the evening and the attentions of Arthur. These sounds bring Arthur to her, hearing her playfulness over the garden wall. They talk of their friendship though both hint at more and Arthur tells her he will be returning the evening for the formal dinner party and will be bringing his mother who he wants to introduce her to. Things are getting serious if he's introducing her to his parents.
In the 8 days since the dinner party Emily has begun to feel more afraid of her father. She feels like she is changing, she imagines a future with Arthur but feels a growing coldness inside. During this time Emily also plans a grander dinner party than Alice Wheiler had ever conceived, rich foods, flowers decorating the rooms, and she wears her own dress. The evening goes off flawlessly, Arthur’s mother is delighted with Emily who acts the perfect hostess with confidence and aplomb, even cutting down the waspish tongue of Camille’s mother. Later, after the guests leave, Emily returns from a visit in her garden when she runs into her father. He is drunk and not happy that she is not wearing Alice’s clothes. Emily reminds him she is his daughter not his wife and flees to her chamber. Hiding under her coverlet she hears the doorknob turning and the heavy breathing and smell of her father. He leaves after watching her for a long time as she pretends to sleep. After this, Emily starts to bar her door.
The next evening Emily is informed that her dinner party has been declared a spectacular success and she has been invited to be included in the opening ceremony festivities of the Columbian Exposition, which will culminate in dinner at the University Club. Also, her father has cancelled her visit to the Simpton’s house the following day, she is obviously too hysterical to go and overtaxed, she needs to keep her strength for her social duties that benefit him. Mr Wheiler’s increasing attentions are no longer overbearing and possessive, they were becoming horrifyingly inappropriate. “an abomination”, Emily suspects her father wants her to take the place of her mother, “in all ways.” She needs to escape and marrying Arthur is a reasonable way. When Mr Wheiler goes to visit the Simptons, Emily takes the opportunity to visit her garden. To her surprise Arthur visits her. Emily confides her fears to Arthur and he asks to finally court her and they share a kiss. Emily advises Arthur that he must make his formal declaration in public at the University Club where her father’s peers will curtail his ire. Arthur agrees.
For the next week Emily avoids her father and is only able to visit her garden once, Arthur visits, he tells her how his parents are happy at their match and this time next year they shall finally be wed. Apparently this is to avoid gossip. Emily admits she is scared for her life and that one year is too long for her to survive. At this point Arthur looks more closely at the fountain and tells Emily that the legend was that Zeus rapes the Europa after he, in bull form, steals her away so it’s a rather inappropriate gift to give to your new wife. At this point, things begin to click for Arthur.
May, 1893. The day of the University Club dinner. Emily wakes and is genuinely ill with a terrible cough but must disguise it. Emily dons an inappropriate dress for a 16 year old unmarried maiden, and straight away her father sees her mother and gifts her a string of her mother’s pearls. It’s like her identity has been completely stripped.
At the Columbia Exhibit there are many things to see, demonstrations and entertainments, Emily sees a very erotic and empowering dance by a stunningly beautiful woman calling herself Neferet, Queen of Little Egypt that utterly captivates her. When she returns to the group on Arthur’s arms her former female friends and their mamas give her cutting remarks, Mrs Simpton defends her and Emily cuts them down no longer willing to be belittled by them. On the carriage ride to the University Club, Emily is feeling worse and worse. She doesn’t recognize the signs. As planned over dinner Arthur makes a public declaration to court Emily, the room toasts the match, and as they receive congratulations Emily is overcome and faints. Mr Simpton offers to convey Emily home to rest and so that Mr Wheiler may continue in his duties.
Wheiler house is empty, no one is about to help her undress. Lying fully dressed, asleep on her bed, she smells him before seeing his shadow in the doorway. Mr Wheiler strikes Emily, and holds her wrists down. At first Emily tries to fight, her father pulls at her, ripping the pearls and her clothes and forces himself on her. She goes cold and limp. When he is finished he starts to snore, Emily escapes gathering the loose pearls and a cloak, she heads for Arthur’s house thinking she would receive sanctuary. Before she is able to knock, Arthur finds her trying to catch her breath at the gate. She sees only shock and horror in his eyes and she will never know what Arthur was going to say at that moment because a stranger stepped from the darkness and points at her, “Emily Wheiler! Night has Chosen thee; thy death will be thy birth! Night calls to thee; hearken to Her sweet voice. Your destiny awaits you at the House of Night!” Then her forehead explodes, her breathing is better and she has a crescent moon on her forehead. Arthur turns from her and walks away. Emily turns to the House of Night.
Neferet’s Journal. Entry the first and last.
Emily now Neferet swears she will choose her own fate, will never allow anyone to gain control over her again. Which is why she killed her father. To her mentor, Cordelia, Neferet claimed self defense, in actuality she restrung her mother's pearls with purpose, to chock the life out of her father with them, he fought her, marked her but she wanted that, it would add credence to her story. The School Council convenes and they accept Neferet’s story but feel it best for her to go to the Oklahoma territories and the new House of Night being established there. This document of evidence will be buried there “So ends Emily Wheiler’s sad story and so begins the magickal life of Neferet—not Queen of Little Egypt … Queen of the Night!”
Once upon a time, divine energy created the Otherworld and other worlds, universes and planets. One planet was given the divine Magick of creation, Earth. Earth created immortals, gods and goddesses to enjoy the other world. Earth created humans. After many many years, the gods and goddesses grew bored and left Earth. Only one goddess remained. Nyx. Earth gifted Nyx with the power of the elements and, when she said she was lonely, Earth placed another gift for Nyx. She asked that Nyx return in three days to receive this gift. Nyx returned and brought some of the sprites and skeeaeds and other fey with her, which delighted Earth. Earth called down the moon and the sun and gifted Nyx with two companions: Kalona, formed from the earth and the moon to be her lover, and Erebus, formed from the earth and the sun to be her friend. To determine if they were truly worthy to be with Nyx in Otherworld, Mother Earth decides that the two should complete three tasks. Kalona dislikes having to prove himself to anyone and is disgruntled with Mother Earth while Erebus is excited. Their Tasks will be to choose an element and use it to create something for Nyx.
For the first task, Erebus chooses air. Kalona struggles trying to create something for Nyx. He destroys a sacred tree which causes the peoples who worship that tree to fear him. Nyx arrives and plants a new tree that bears fruit and asks the people not to fear Kalona because he is her warrior. They play together for awhile and then she leaves. She talks to L'Ota, her skeeaed friend, who says she favors Kalona. She can't help it though. She also adores Erebus, but he is only her friend. Some dryads appear and inform Nyx that Kalona is ready for the first test. He commands air to show his passion and power for Nyx and it creates a powerful tornado, which is not what he had been practicing. Mother Earth yells for him to control it, but Erebus steps in with his gift, a rainbow after the storm. Earth declares that Kalona fails and Erebus does not, but Nyx reminds Earth that it is her decision that matters and declares that Kalona showed his passion and also passes the first test. He chooses the next element, Water.
Kalona creates a beautiful boat for Nyx to use on her favorite lake. He commands L'ota, who has been watching him, to summon Nyx. Nyx is sad that Kalona is so mean to his brother, but she enjoys the boat and Kalona's company. Naiads appear to tell Nyx that Erebus is ready to perform his next task. When they arrive, they are greeted by a horrible smell. Oh great! Maybe Erebus will fail and Kalona can get a win. Nope. Erebus has created a beautiful geyser, Old Faithful. Don't worry, Kalona doesn't fail this time! He creates a beautiful waterfall that doesn't stink, so he's the winner. He and Nyx make love in the pool created by the waterfall and L'ota creepily watches from the shadows.
The element for the final test is Spirit. Kalona struggles because he always does, something surely having to do with his terrible attitude and lack of joy. He tries to give spirit to the trees, but they already have a spirit. An old shaman has taken to following Kalona and chanting around him, which does not help with Kalona's stress levels. L'ota shows up and suggests he make Nyx spirit jewelry and guides him to some beautiful stones inside a cave. There are not beautiful stones inside the cave. The White Bull is inside the cave, looking like a frightening vagina. The shaman shows up as Kalona is about to enter the cave and warns him not to go, that darkness will take away his soul and everything he loves. He throws turquoise at L'ota and she rips off her face and erupts in tendrils of darkness. Oh, that's good. He tells Kalona of his dreams from the earth mother that he will fall and change and if he does, then he's going to have to make a terrible sacrifice but Kalona ignores him because of course the earth mother gives nightmares about him. She hates his guts out. He brushes off the warnings and goes inside. The white bull is there, terrible as always. He taunts Kalona about having to share Nyx with Erebus, stirring up his anger and jealousy. He wants to cause chaos and wants to enter the Otherworld, but Kalona will never allow that! Uh, yeah. His anger and jealousy means he's swarming with darkness. He leaves the cave, followed by tendrils of darkness. The shaman sees and goes to prepare his sacrifice.
Kalona is dwelling over Erebus and L'ota uses that to manipulate Nyx. She visits Nyx, telling her that she's forgotten all about Erebus and she only cares about Kalona, which is not necessarily true, but come on. L'ota alerts Nyx that she is being called, so she immediately goes to join who she thinks will be Kalona, but it's Erebus instead. He's not ready for his final test, but gives Nyx some kittens and tells her to go to Kalona, that he needs her. Erebus will be her friend but Kalona should be her lover. Oh! What a kind thing! Just the antidote to Kalona's struggles! Nyx hugs Erebus and tells him how great he is. And that's when Kalona appears. This does not look good and with Kalona's intense jealousy and rage, it's even worse. He goes back to earth to sulk. The shaman joins him and he has brought a young woman with him. Nyx arrives and stands off in the distance, watching as the shaman sacrifices the young woman and then dies himself. No!!! Kalona doesn't know what to do. What the heck just happened?! Nyx rushes up and saves the young woman by commanding that Kalona give her his control over spirit. She creates the first vampyre from this young sacrifice. Mother Earth declares that Kalona has failed, again, and again, Nyx says it's her decision to make. Back off helicopter mom! Erebus also arrives and gives his gift, a basket full of kittens, not to Nyx as he was going to do, but to the vampyre. His gift became companions for all the future vampyres. But wait, there's only one. Mother Earth decides she's going to go back to sleep for a few eons but will gift Nyx with more vampyres, but she must watch over them. Of course she will. Nyx gives mother Earth a gift as well. The old Magick sprites will be able to visit her all the time.
So Kalona and Erebus have both passed their tests and can go with Nyx to the Otherworld. What a happy ending. Except it's not. Time passes. Some vampyre fledglings make the change. Some do not. Nyx made a vow with Kalona and Erebus to never speak of the night that the first vampyre was created. It would be too painful for that vampyre to know she was created from a terrible sacrifice. So they don't speak of it. Not even to tell Kalona what he walked in on with her and Erebus. This causes Kalona to sink farther and farther away from his goddess. And then darkness appears in the Otherworld. Kalona uses it as a distraction, going out all the time to defeat darkness, to be Nyx's warrior instead of her lover. She summons him one night to see if any part of him still loves her and knows that she loves him too. She loves all her subjects and her Consort Erebus. Of course she does, but she loves Kalona so much more, but it's not enough for him. Welp, that's it. Ultimatum time. It's him or me. Nyx refuses to banish Erebus, so by his own vow, Kalona has to leave. He falls. Nyx is sad and Erebus comes to console her, telling her that they'll get him back someday, but for now, Kalona has lost himself to rage. Time to go make some Raven Mockers!