If you're new to this column, read the read this first. Play date: october 1, 2010
Serapha woke from her feverous dream. How much time had passed? She wasn't sure. But it looked like dusk had finally come. The night would hide her, and she could seek out her new mistress. There she was, on the street, ready for the sun to set. Except that it did not.
Francesco just lost a few hours of memory. Was he on this street before? He rubbed his sore neck. There was blood. Serapha clenched him suddenly. “You startled me” he said. “It's almost night, we should go to the Thyssen place” she whispered. “No it's almost day” he could know. For he had been out all night.
What I tried to do as a game master in this session was mess a lot with the characters senses and their sense of time. And with those of the players too. Cutting scenes at moments that were unexpected, skipping whole hours of memory, give disorienting descriptions. Why? Because these two heroes (or are they villains? – the difference with my player characters is often thin), because these heroes are under the influence of vampyric blood. I'll tell, it's cool to GM delirium.
Both heroes tried to infiltrate the nest of two vampyre princesses, elven vampyres at that, hiding with the powerful businessman Thyssen. One, Leni von Brockdorf even married to him. Serapha tries to infiltrate, looking for an even more powerful undead. But unfortunately she is also addicted to the blood. Francesco is still human, and actually on a mission of his own. But he fell for her charms.
Will (played by a woman – Serapha played by a man), their mutual... well, someone they met and works with them - Will does not agree with their relationship. Will has his own goals. Yesternight he saw how a dragon was shot from the sky, and made an emergency landing on the Thyssen estate. Together with its rider. Will snuck unto the grounds, and confronted the guards and their dogs. There the dragon was, in all her majesty – and he could speak with her, for Will was trained to do so when he served as a dragon rider in the ImperiMor army. But she was wounded badly, and her rider was captured. By the Thyssen men. And more soldiers came. All Will could do was make a diversion, so the dragon – her name “Blue Thunder”, couldn't resist the pun – could escape swimming in the river. Hit by shrappnel, Will dove after her in the cold water.
So that's why Will needed Francesco. To help hide the dragon. Which they did eventually, in a boat house – feeding it some poor sheep – which they mercifully executed before letting them be eaten... And Will needed Francesco to prepare a rescue mission into the Thyssen house, to get the dragon rider. But preparing such a raid is not easy, when the Brugghes officials are patrolling the streets, and vampyre spawn are on your tail. That's where some more psychedelic GM-ing came in.
Francesco planned to invite Will and Serapha for a talk in his luxury office – which he hired to attract the arms traders he was actually staking out – but that's another tale. And while they admired the view, they noticed Leni's friend vampyre, Evi. Small, with a powerful and unamused gaze she looked up at them. Will hid, Francesco ducked. When they looked again, she was gone. And the stairs in the building creaked. 't is always great fun to see one's players spooked. The thing on the stairs turned out to be the new neighbour. Who of course also was not okay. After he tried to attack them, and they shot his arm off, he just kept standing. Until Serapha's focus lapsed, and the GM jumped her player mimicing a stake and mallet. It's always good to act things out physically a bit for effect.
Luckily, there are friends in the neighbourhood. The paladyns from Cluny have promised the Brugghes mayor to clean out the Thyssen vampyre nest. Aster Floryn, a hardened female warrior who smokes cigars for breakfast, is one of them. Aster is a long standing NPC. But while Aster'd like Will and Francesco to participate in the raid – who can then rescue the dragon rider in the process – she does not quite trust Serapha. She suspects Serapha is an ImperiMor enemy agent. And a vampyre too. Yet... she unwittingly shares information with Serapha. “Read this book”, she says. And in the book are her notes of preparing the raid.
Serapha remembers flashes of lying in bed with another woman. A love relationship? No... or yes? It's her new mistress Leni, and they speak of the coming attack by the Paladyns. Has Serapha betrayed them already? This, and more... in the next episode of Brugghes.