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Irene is a jeweler and human servant to Melchior, and as passionate about her craft as he is.


Irene is barely five feet tall, tiny woman who could pass for an accountant, or a servant in an old movie. She has thin, long-fingered hands, that she usually keeps clasped in front of her when she's not touching something. Her face is thin and angular, and her body bird-thin, as if there had never been enough for her to eat while she was still a regular human. Her hair is black and intermingled with grey, and coarser than Anita's. Irene's skin is brown and tanned, and her eyes are a dark enough brown to look black from a distance.

Personal history[]

Irene is originally from somewhere around the Middle East, although at the time it was called Mesopotamia, and her original name likely wasn't Irene. She has met Helen of Troy, whom she calls a raven-haired beauty. Irene says she and Melchior "have traveled the world and the centuries in search of art and beauty, and raw stuff of our craft drawn from the earth itself, or sometimes wicked people."

History within the series[]

In Dead Ice Melchior (and consequently Irene) has been contracted to design rings for Jean-Claude and Anita. She insists on calling Jean-Claude 'my lord king', and Anita lets it go because all the other alternatives Irene would agree to are even worse.

Irene has a theory that lack of occupation and boredom cause so many older vampires to go evil and cruel to amuse themselves. She tells Jean-Claude that many believe he's so reasonable because he's been running businesses for hundreds of years, and she sees his continued performances in his clubs as an example of him occupying himself in a positive manner.

Irene confesses to having been in attendance when Jean-Claude was on the stage for the first and that far only time since their engagement, for the purpose of learning more about him in order to make the ring designs a better fit. The memory excites her enough that Jean-Claude can't resist letting some of his seductive powers touch her, and in retaliation Melchior takes her over and uses some mind tricks of his own in return.

Melchior's attitude towards the concept of lovers explains why Irene has a hidden need to be seduced but hasn't done anything about it, and in the end Jean-Claude and Anita either find an answering need in Melchior or create one (they aren't certain, but Jean-Claude thinks it's the former), and when Melchior withdraws says he'll tell Irene how he feels. When Irene gets her control back she calmly assumes that her master has paid a visit, and calls herself "his vessel to fill as he sees fit". She finds this a fair trade for getting to live centuries beyond her natural lifespan and getting to learn so much more about her craft than she ever could have even imagined. She loves the adventurousness of her life, and loves her master, although she doesn't hold any hopes of getting more than she already has, which is a plenty.

When Jean-Claude tells Irene that Melchior has some new ideas to discuss with her about capturing love in the designs, Irene is a bit confused but accepts this happily, trusting in Jean-Claude's words and Melchior's vision and not bothered by the sudden change of plans. Anita supposes living with an artist for a few thousand years has grown Irene used to such impulsiveness. Irene simply packs away the jewelry she was planning to present to Jean-Claude and Anita, and hurries to meet Melchior. The novel doesn't tell how the relationship between the master and the servant develops from there, but presumably one of closer intimacy comes into being.