My lovely Tanaquil asked me a question about Avicus, and I decided to make my answer something a bit more public. People are always very curious about him because Mael spoke of him little, and no one else truly knew him save myself. He deserves to be know.
Avicus is one I didn’t fully notice until reading “Blood and Gold” for a second time. But then he stepped out of the pages all the more clearly and left a deep impression. Your words about him match this impression.
Why do you think he stayed with Mael for such a long time? Would you have even considered talking to Mael if it would not have been for Avicus?
Avicus was tender. All of his years suffering under the ground, locked away, a God, changed this about him very little. On one hand, I think he loved Mael because Mael was his child, and we do always love our children so deeply no matter who they are or what they become. Mael needed him because Mael was, as a young vampire, very angry and thoughtless. He would rush into anything without a thought toward self-preservation or common sense. All Mael had was anger and annoyance and pride, and it certainly would have destroyed him early had he not had Avicus there to stop him. We want our children to come to no pain, and when they do the pain we feel is without measure or end.
They were polar opposites. Avicus was calm and considerate and quiet. Though he was not of any great formal education, and therefore had much to learn, he had a great mind and a love of knowledge. Avicus was considerate and made no move without first thinking it through. He was so old and so strong, but so gentle and boyish, and so innocent. Innocent is a strange word to use for a vampire. Rather, to be used to describe their nature, not how they look. Armand can be described as “innocent,” but this is a superficial label that applies only to the mask he wears on the outside. Avicus truly was innocent inside, and it was heartbreaking to watch the world destroy any of it.
His innocence calmed all of the fire inside of Mael. Avicus had some unspoken gift to put out and put a stop to Mael’s anger and insolence. When it came to Avicus, Mael had no pride, but that was not a bad thing. Without Avicus, Mael would have done something stupid and destroyed himself, so naturally Avicus would stay by his side to protect him from himself.
And there much to be said about how frightening loneliness can be. I am certain Avicus had more than enough loneliness in his years to last his eternity. Mael was his companion. They had a purpose, yes, to find me and to find Akasha, but the purpose was only the catalyst to their union, and though it bound them together it was not what ultimately kept them to each other. They loved each other, they were maker and child, lovers.
I would have killed Mael the moment I saw him had Avicus not been there to stop me. I suppose he had a calming effect on the both of us, and he had me thrown completely. I felt like two people, one of them wishing to rip Mael’s head off, almost blind. The other confused and dazed by Avicus’s presence, pulling itself out of me. Yes, had Avicus not been there, I would have ripped Mael’s head off, encased it in bronze, and set it in my study to marvel at. I hated him as I have never hated anyone. And, for a while, only endured Mael in my life in order to keep Avicus.