baby baptism, 926
with violin (A)
with violin (B)
with Malveaux (A) / (B)
with Malveaux, 935 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D)
her violin: hi-res
Harmony of the Spheres, 943 (A) / (B)
Harmony of the Spheres photo
Behind the Stage, 945 (A)/(B)/(C)/(D)
Sophia implores Alex to not leave, 945
playing the violin
Zork Musical Academy, class of 946
the wedding, 945 (A)/(B)/(C)/(D)/(E)/(F)
the sacrifice, 945 (A) / (B) / (C)
Alexandria's spirit in Mausoleum, 949
Alexandra's spirit beneath temple, 949
the second sacrifice, 949
Alex & Lucien escape temple, 949
Alex & Lucien restored, 949 (A) / (B)
"Air on a Grue String"
"Concerto for Violin and Frobophone"
"Music for the Moon"
"Harmony of the Spheres" (A) / (B)
"Descent of Yoruk into Hell"
Alexandria's Locket (A) / (B)
Lucien's Paintings of Alexandria (A) / (B)
I wonder where my mommy is. All I have left of her is this locket. Father says if I am good, I will get to see her one day in heaven.
in another undated entry, she wrote about the six notes of the Harmony
of the Spheres:
Sometimes I hear these in my head. Father says they are divine.
now that Alexandria was reaching a mature age, the Grand Inquisitor
believed that it was inappropriate for a woman to be dwelling amongst
the ascetic order at Steppinthrax. He believed that she was a
distraction and a potential temptress to the other monks. Thus he
demanded that she leave at once. Seeking an alternative placement for
Alexandria so that she would not topple out of the oversight of the
alchemists, it was agreed that she would be transferred to the Frigid
River Branch Conservatory where she would be under the watchful eye of
Sophia Hamilton. That year, Malveaux and Alexandria shared in a
touching, although sorrowful scene:
Father Malveaux had not anticipated that he would grow to treat Alexandria as his own daughter. On a certain day after sharing with her that she would be leaving the Monastery, he listened to her perform a violin piece in her bedroom. Reposed in a lush velvet chair, he watched her play, concentrating deeply on the music before her, “Harmony of the Spheres Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.” His long, healthy, well-groomed tresses framed a plump face; he was a pampered man. A huge ruby ring glittered on his manicured hand. There was a harsh look on his soft face, contrasting sharply with the soothing music of the strings. When Alexandria noticed his disturbance, she ceased suddenly and with concern asked, “Father?”
Trying to put on a façade of peace, Malveaux smiled benignly at her and replied, “Your music was lovely, Alexandria. Like the harmony of the spheres.” He opened an arm, inviting her to come to him.
While heeding his beckons, she sat on his knee, setting aside her violin, “Then why does it make you so unhappy?”
He placed on arm around the precious child, drawing her close and smoothing her shining hair. He looks into her eyes while she smoothed his hair. “I was thinking how much I am going to miss it…” A world of regret, pain, and guilt flickered for a nanosecond in his eyes, and then it was gone. “…when you’ve gone.”
“Why can’t you visit me at the Conservatory?” she asked, looking sorrowful.
He shook off the mood. “I can.”
“And,” there was a grin, “since I’m never getting married…”
“Oh.” His smile broadened. “You’re sure you destiny is a nunnery?”
Alexandria smiled back and nodded confidently. “I can come back here and play for you. Until you’re old and feeble and totally deaf. Forever and ever.”
Malveaux tapped her on the nose, and then seeing that distant thing in his mind’s eye, lost his smile. “Amen, my child.”
But it would be approximately two years before the Frigid River Branch Conservatory would be Alexandria’s new home.
Dear father, I am enjoying my time here. Sophia seems to have taken a liking to me and treats me very well. I am composing much music, although my teachers say it is extreme and too unconventional for their taste. I find it is the only way I am able to play. Take care of yourself and do not worry about me.
An undated letter
to Malveaux from Sophia, who happened to be the exact opposite of her
gifted young protégé in terms of musical inspiration:
Alexandria is doing well. She is not particularly well liked and appears to be somewhat of a loner. She is stubborn and her music is wild and eccentric. We are trying to tone her down. How did she get like this? What did you do to her while she was at the monastery? Maybe it is part of the process.
In 939, Sophia
presented Alexandria with a book entitled, “The Musings on the Power of
Melody.” Inside the front cover was written:
The path to purification is through the magic of the notes.
An undated letter
in 939, found in the Steppinthrax Monastery, from Sophia to Malveaux:
You will be glad to know Alexandria is flourishing here. She has a gift, of that I am certain. I have given her books on the Harmony of the Spheres and I believe she hears the notes in her dreams. Such a queer little thing; I see how she has won your heart, old monk.
This is a difficult process. At times I am uncertain—I don’t know how hard to push—but I will not let you down. Such strange parents we make.
Estuary 16, 939, Alexandria played in her first performance at the
Frigid River Branch Conservatory. She played “Air on a Grue String” by
Johann Sebastian Flathead. This was followed up by a second performance
the following year on Mage 20, 940, when she played her own original
composition “Concerto for Violin and Frobophone” at the Conservatory.
Alexandria continued her public recitals, one of which was a
performance of “Harmony of the Spheres” at the Frigid River Branch
Conservatory (941-04-15). Over a year later she confessed her constant
loneliness to Malveaux (942-08-03). This letter was found at the
I miss you. Madame Sophia seems to be paying much attention to me. She believes that in my soul, I possess the very power of music, and with practice I will find the precious notes which are the “Harmony of the Spheres.” I’m not so sure. Everyone believes my music is strange. Do you think me strange? I know I am lonely.
Always missing you,
She also wrote to
Malveaux on a separate occasion her perturbing dreams:
I can’t sleep anymore. I hear music in my dreams. In my dreams, I see water spilling out of pipes and tidal waves sucking me down. In my bones, I feel that something wrong is going on. Are you alight? I am worried about you. Have you been seeing Dr. Sartorius? I hope his treatments are working. Please write and let me know that everything is fine.
I’ve met someone and for the first time in months I feel optimistic about the future. I sleep. I dream. His name is Lucien Kaine, and he is the one person, except for you, who seems to understand my music. When around him I don’t have to apologize for who I am or what I believe. I’ve finally found my kindred spirit, as you always promised I would.
Be happy for me!
I love you. Have I written you that today? I’m distracted and playing quite horribly. I have been having nightmares again, the same ones. My father is performing some Zorkastrian fire ritual, and the flames leap up, higher and higher, until they devour him. He screams in pain but I cannot move. Then the sky grows dark and I cannot see the sun. I don’t know what it means. I know I worry as his illness worsens. Come tonight. I am afraid.
Thaddeus diligently and ferociously tried numerous ventures to force
his son away from Alexandria, Lucien shared his feelings with
I paint, I write, I draw and I miss you. My father wants me to join his army in their fight against the Enchanter’s Guild and Ellron. He’s been our nemesis for so long, I feel I know him intimately. Magic, powers and politics, When did they get so complicated and corrupt? My father says he fights in the name of honor and truth. No truth I know of. Medicine, Education, Law and Religion: they mean nothing to me. My only trust is you and your music.
Lucien painted a
series of nude pictures of him and Alexandria. One
an erotic and blazing sketch of himself and Alexandria with their naked
bodies entwined, he sent to her once completed. Although Lucien had
perpetrated no deed that robbed her virginity, that did not Thaddeus
from seeking to invoke his son's rage with slanderous accusations. The
conflict between father and son prompted Lucien to sabotage his
father's campaign against Ellron. One of these acts included the theft
of gunpowder. It was Alexandria who counciled him to abstain from such
…it’s just that I don’t understand your relationship with your father. If you don’t believe in Kaine’s wars, if you won’t fight his battles, just tell him. Don’t sabotage his campaign against Ellron, and don’t steal from him. He is a good man, who has raised a good son. You must know he loves you, as do I, your devoted.
Malveaux continued to encourage Alexandria to keep her distance from Lucien and cleave to purity, explaing the significant of her virtue and why Lucien Kaine with his troubled youth, his questionable morals, and his strange disposition was not right for her. This letter (944-09-01) is likely in reply to a lost correspondence sent by Alexandria to Malveaux detailing her frustrations at Sophia’s attempts to keep her away from Lucien:
My dear girl,
Please do not be upset. Madame Sophia wants only the best for you. You will always be my child, my only family. But you must always remember that you are one of those people for whom life has chosen a special destiny. We all believe in your magical talent. Be pure of heart and spirit, and I shall always be
your loving father
There is something going on with my father. I thought it was something to do with Thaddium and his battles with Ellron. Now I suspect it is far more dangerous than that. He says little of his latest invention, only that it involves pure lead—and it is very dangerous. My father would not harm us, but I fear he cannot save us either. You once said you wanted to explore the Empire, voyage across the Great Sea. Come with me.
Judging from the nature of a few correspondences between Alexandria and Lucien, the two lovers began to understand that some sort of conspiracy or scheme was going on behind their backs that was deeper than either of them would have anticipated.
I discovered M. Sophia has a secret lab. I heard the five sacred notes and looked in to see her boiling some green crystals. What do you make of it?
I will meet you behind the stage tomorrow at midnight. I think I have discovered something strange.
A possibly unsent
letter, as it was discovered in Alexandria’s violin case:
Meet me behind the backdrops at midnight. I think I have found something that may shed some light on the Director’s strange goings-on.
Alexandria, we must get out of here. I don’t know what is going on but I believe my father is involved. I don’t know what they want…
The two did manage to secretly meet one night behind the stage at the Frigid River Branch Conservatory in 945 GUE:
Alexandria grabbed her locket off the floor which was lying beside her violin. Lucien had lowered his shirt for her gaze and she studied him coolly—like he was an object. He was very awkward and self-conscious. Alexandria moved away from her belongings to join him.
“I feel like a fool,” Lucien stated.
“Mmm. A beautiful fool,” she returned.
Alexandria trusted her arm at him and the locket’s silver chain spilled out of her clenched fist. She opened her fist and showed it to him. Inside was a picture of her mother, Zoe Wolfe.
“Here, this is for you. I want you to wear it.”
Lucien nodded, transfixed. She rose on tiptoe to clasp the locket around his neck. Their faces were close, and moving closer, into an embrace, but Sophia’s voice calmly interrupted out of their range of sight.
Lucien pulled back guiltily. The moment was broken, but Alexandria still tried to kiss Lucien in order to spit the meddling Sophia who had caught them together. Lucien refused, drawing his shirt back on.
“Lucien.” Sophia was shocked by his presence, staring as he dressed. “What a…pleasant…surprise.” She noticed the locket around his neck. “Your locket.”
Lucien, very self-conscious, slipped the locket from around his neck.
“I’ve never seen it off you,” Sophia finished.
Alexandria would not deign to answer.
Sophia took the locket into her hand, pretending to admire it. “It’s lovely.” Then she accidentally dropped it, feigning to be upset. “Oh!”
The broken part of the locket fell on the floorboards, bounced, then slid through a crack in the stage floor. The broken piece continued its downward flight, coming to rest on the floor, near a pool of water in the boiler room, glittering in the darkness.
event, Alexandria wrote to Malveaux regarding her discion to marry
You are the only one I can confide in. The girls here are gossipy and jealous. They think I am strange—and I must say, I agree. I don’t fit in here. I have tried over and over to play the sappy and boring music they find fitting. I have tried to be sweet, I have tried to care—but I don’t. There is something strange going on and I have to get out of here. It is best. Lucien wants to marry me. And I want to marry him. Please understand that this is right for me. I know that you will. We will come to you at the next full moon. Marry us and give us your blessing for the future. I know your concern for “purity of the spirit” but remember, not all of us are destined to marry Yoruk and live in a Monastery.
immediately after, Alexandria wrote to Lucien:
You are right. Something is going on. We must leave. I wrote Father, telling him everything and asking him to marry us. Father will miss me, but he’ll understand. We will escape to the Westlands. I’m not frightened, Lucien; I know everything will be all right, if I am with you. Does that sound childish? I’ve never felt more a woman—and I am, as always,
The alchemists feared that they would not be able to keep Lucien from sullying Alexandria. The four met at the Temple of Agrippa to accelerate the schedule for Alexandria's sacrifice to coincide with an upcoming partial eclipse.In the meantime, Alexandria prepared to leave the Frigid River Branch Conservatory and make her way to the Steppinthrax Monastery for the wedding. Hoping to persuade her from leaving the school, Sophia confronted her in the student dormitory on the night before she left:
Alexandria lay on the bed, while Sophia sat on its edge. They were only lit by the light of an oil lamp. Sophia talked quietly, regressing into her heart. She spoke with thought and deep commitment.
“I know the power of love. It attacks your heart until you have no power to fight. Sometimes it picks men who’ll only hurt you. It becomes stronger than you, and sometimes you end up doing stupid things, enduring infidelities…and still there’s nothing you can do because you love him.” Sophia realized that she had revealed more than she wanted to, and smiled wanly.
Alexandria replied, “I’m in love with Lucien, and that’s my business.”
“Alexandria, I want you to find love. But I don’t want you to lose anything by finding it. I was a pianist. I wasn’t like you—a genius—but some thought I had talent. Some thought I could be…great. And I gave it up because I thought I was in love.”
“I want to make my own mistakes.”
“I listen to your music,” Sophia continued, undaunted, “to the passion and brilliance of it, and I know that you are not ordinary. Don’t you see that?” She leaned forward and put her hands on Alexandria’s arms. “You are brilliant. Important.” Then she whispered, “Magical. Please don’t throw away this power.”
“I won’t. I’ll always play the violin. Even after I die. I’ll play.”
“It’s not worth it. Let him wait. Please. Don’t leave.”
Sophia got up from the bed, kissed Alexandria on the forehead, and picked up the lamp to leave.
Besides the three, the room was bare of occupants. The couple’s beaming faces glistened with love for one another. Neither was dressed in anything expensive for the wedding—both suits proclaimed casual formality and nothing of glamour. Lucien was in his normal garments, while the black dress and flowers of Alexandria reflected the haste with which their plans were made, as well as her strange imagination. Malveaux gripped a holy book in one hand.
Alexandria had a moment of intimacy with Malveaux, while Lucien waited at the altar. She teased him, much like when she was but a young girl. “Today you’re my father and my priest. You have to give me away, and then you have to marry me.”
Malveaux seemed distracted as though his mind was possessed by other things and that she was a little annoying. “Alexandria, your mind is always working…”
She kissed his cheek and then joined Lucien. He grasped her left hand with both of his.
“This is an extraordinary day,” Alexandria spoke, radiantly jubilant.
“As befits my extraordinary child.” Malveaux took his place before the two at the front of the cathedral. Then, opening his book, he continued, “Now… It’s time for us to begin. Under the fire of Yoruk...”
Suddenly the doors burst open. The shout of Thaddeus Kaine reverberated throughout the vast cathedral. “No, I think actually it’s time for all this to finally end.”
Turning, the couple spied Lucien’s father marching into the room, flanked by two Irondune soldiers. They walked briskly towards the front. Kaine gestured and the two soldiers apprehended the befuddled Lucien, who could only reply almost stunned, “What are you doing?”
“You’re being arrested,” Kaine returned coldly, and disturbingly placid.
As the two soldiers dragged Lucien before his father, wide-eyed Alexandria protested hysterical, “Leave him alone!”
Without much of a struggle, Lucien broke free from the soldiers and adamantly stated, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Kaine wordlessly retaliated with a strong slap across Lucien’s face. The two soldiers again restrained Lucien and ushered him forcibly towards the doorway.
Alexandria shouted, “Please, stop!! Leave him alone. Lucien!!” Dauntless, she tried to run after Lucien, but Kaine blocked her with his big body. She stared directly into the eyes of the stringent, ill-tempered man and straightforwardly asked, “Why are you doing this?”
Countering with an icy, unsympathetic stare that pierced the depths of her soul, Kaine set his back to her and tromped down the hallway without explanation.
Turning around, Alexandria yelled, “Father, help me!” But Malveaux had vanished. Desperately she looked around the room. Confused and betrayed, she could barely force the words past her numbing lips, “Father!?”
The alchemists, dressed in their ceremonial attire, gathered in the dome room of the Temple of Agrippa to invoke the Great Eclipse. Sophia restrained Alexandria, who violently struggled to gain her freedom. Sartorius forced a bowl to her lips, steam swirling out of the liquid. She drank and her eyes instantly began to droop.
The four alchemists placed Alexandria upon the altar in the center of the temple; an altar which they had personally constructed. She was sitting up, but only with the help of Sartorius and Kaine. Sophia made a last brush stroke through her dark hair, then set down the brush to take a white veil, which she placed over the head of their virgin sacrifice.
Alexandria’s cloth-covered body was lowered upon the altar. She was sleeping peacefully. Kaine held the alchemy book. All gathered around the altar, with their hands outstretched over her body, except for Malveaux, who raised a sacrificial dagger into the air. He began to chant as the four alchemists chanted with him in unison.
Sophia closed her eyes, swaying to the sound. The intensity increased. Sartorius waved his hands above the altar symbols. The symbols began to spin. The knife of Malveaux lifted higher. It hovered for a beat above Alexandria.
Beyond them, at the top of the stairs leading to the altar, Lucien suddenly rushed into the room, crying out, “No!”
But was too late, for Malveaux drove the dagger into Alexandria, taking the life of the young woman. She convulsed. The culmination of their dark ritual was finished, and they knew they would soon become immortal creatures.
Just at the moment when they were becoming empowered, the rage of the warrior came to the fore. The chagrinned Lucien, entangled by blind rage ran up to the altar and rushed for Malveaux. Easily overtaking the frail monk, he pushed him backward. The momentum threw Malveaux back toward the railing that surrounded the altar. He fell and was impaled on the shard finial of the banister. Malveaux gagged and gasped with the metal piercing entirely through his body.
Sartorius tried to get away, but quickly spinning around, Lucien picked up a candle and flung it at him. Sartorius’ robe caught on fire, engulfing him in flames. As he burned, Lucien looked to the altar where Sophia was trying to complete the ceremony with Alexandria’s body. He approached her.
In despair, Sophia muttered with fear, “No, please don’t! No.”
But Lucien was not sedated. He reached both hands around her neck and strangled her beneath her punitive whining, “Noooooo!” Dead, he tossed her to the floor.
Lucien looked in anguish at Alexandria, who lay dead with the sacrificial knife deep in her chest. Then he looked up across the altar and saw his father glowering at him. Yanking the bloody dagger out of Alexandria’s chest, Lucien turned to face his father, who contemptuously stood his ground fearlessly placid. Had Lucien not been consumed by his terrible bombastic rage, he would have noticed that his father was eerily calm. They stared into each other’s eyes, until Lucien placed the knife upon his father’s throat for a moment, just as Thaddeus Kaine had dared him to do in their previous encounter. But his father did not wince. He simply lifted his hands in the air as if in a state of worship, a martyr pleased to accept his death. And unlike before, Lucien stabbed deeply into the throat of his own father and he fell dead.
Dropping the knife, Lucien leapt upon the altar, crawling over the lifeless body of his beloved Alexandria, and sat over her. His eyes were glued to her and already filled with the haunted, hunted look of the Nemesis. He touched her face, the lifted up his hands to shield his own as though an invisible entity were coming down upon him. And he screamed, “NOOOO!” in a voice that was not his own, but hideously demonic—the primal yell of anguished filled the entire temple.
THE REVIVAL OF ALEXANDRIA
The alchemical cabal
classified Alexandria with the following alchemical information:
Planet: Luna (the moon)