A thirteen year old kadesh, or temple boy, present at the death of Marduk, Dura was fearless and sharp-witted. Recognising that true power rested in the secrets of the centrifuge rather than the gold or Marduk’s corpse, Dura smuggled the machine out of the temple once all the guards and priests had fled the temple. Without access to electrical power Dura painstakingly reactivated its rudimentary function. Stealing a young still-born child from an inconsolable neighbour, Dura used a viper’s fangs as a makeshift needle and thus became the first human to taste the renewing pleasures of a heady cocktail of stem cells, growth factor, and plasma. Securing a ready supply of young blood remained a constant challenge. Dura’s extraordinary youthfulness, first celebrated, soon became a source of suspicion and whispers of witchcraft. Dura was forced to flee south from Bokhara and set up elsewhere as an anonymous stranger. With time, his wealth and knowledge grew. A few loyal staff and searchers for the truth, their hopes wrung dry by religion, soon joined him in a small cabal of seekers and collectors of young blood. They came to call themselves the Votary of the Blood, their focus on the origins of their longevity and the vanished Gods who had left the machine that could give it. An avid collector of all manuscripts pertaining to the Gods, Dura lived some six centuries, his library and collection the cornerstone of this illustrious secret sect.