Vampire Short Story

This is the start of a character background I have been working on it has gone through multiple rewrites, I hope to post a chapter each week until its done. Please leave any comments below.

After the First Crusade recaptured Jerusalem in 1099, many Christian pilgrims traveled to visit what they referred to as the Holy Places. However, though the city of Jerusalem was under relatively secure control, the rest of Outremer was not. Bandits abounded, and pilgrims were routinely slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds, as they attempted to make the journey from the coastline at Jaffa into the Holy Land

Part 1

The old man looked at his ring, thoughtfully. He was standing by a Portcullis, in the misty fog of Valettan streets rolling and wafting all around. It was winter. He wore suitable clothes, a long woolen coat and and simple robes underneath. In his hand, he held a cane.

He was leaning on it slightly, listening.

Occasionally a peasant would pass this small street, with it’s close Shanty Houses. He looked to be the timeless Spanish Lord, standing there, perhaps waiting to hail a coach, or maybe waiting for a lady to arrive.

Patient, reserved, predestine, in a calm collected manner.

His eyes were a deep green, his hair, Auburn and slightly graying but neatly kept. Clean shaven. Respectable in every department.

A long black coach, pulled up beside him. One the horses began to rear, the old man gazed into its eyes and it came to rest. The structure made one of those annoying creaking sounds that irritated him. But he ignored it. A face loomed out of the darkness.

At first, the gentleman forced a sharp intake of breath. The face of a woman, beautiful, like a marble statue is beautiful. And the color of ivory.

“Mr Hanlon Lees?”, asked the very pale woman.

Beautiful, he thought, but dangerous. He regained his composure almost immediately,

“Forgive me dear “, he said quietly, ” I am indeed the same Hanlon Lees.”

“Please, Mr Lees, step into my car, we have a lot to talk of. The night is … young yet” she spoke softly, elegantly. Enthralling tone of voice.

The man opened the door quietly and looked around, making sure that he was not followed. All he saw was the mist.

He stepped into the cab and quietly it pulled away.

In the shadows above, a man stood on a nobles balcony, somehow cloaked in the shadow itself. He was tall, philistine, and possessed a look of dedication. Undoubtedly, he had seen battle, such was his build and his stance. Suggestive of a warrior.

He looked into the deep air for no more than a few moments.

He whispered something quiet to himself, clenching a fist. He too was pale like the woman, though not as white.

Quietly, he lowered himself down to the street, and went over to a near boy dressed in bedraggled messanger clothing.

“Tell the Lord that she has taken one to speak with. They must be stopped, for the good of everyone. God be with you”

Part 2

My Name is Vittorja Elanua, “I am justicar of the Camerilla”. He gazed down at her eloquate flowing dress, crafted from the finest of silks in Scarlet Red, with simple flower petals embroided into the design She layed her hand upon her lap.

“We have been watching you for some time”, Hanlon did not seem surprised. “We have been fighting an invisible war, not just against the Sabbat but another threat to all Kindred kine, you have been charged to abrogate this mennace”

“But what of my loyalty to my prince” He protested, motioning to stand up,but unable to in the the confined space of the cabin. “Your Prince has come to an understanding” She reached to wooden box below her seat and pulled out large object wrapped in dirtied linen

“You will need this to complete your task”

He reached over and carefull placed the object on his knees, it seemed to hold no weight for something so large. He delicately began to unfurl the linin, it soon became apparent to him that this had not been seen by a mans eyes in generations.

He could feel a heat build up from inside the wrappings, although it did not burn he felt a warmth that he had not felt since his days as mortal. He further unfurled the wrappings, a handle began to appear, crafted from fine leather and silk, in a crimson not unlike that of Vittorja’s dress, a pommel in the shape of an anque, with wings of a predatory bird inlaid with a fine jewel. It was of a metal he had not seen before but the craftsmanship was sublime and yet so precice. It reminded him of a time when he worked as a smith, when he could take pride in his work. The angles and edges on this pommel were so precice it could not have been crafted by a mere man.

He contuinued slowly unsheathing it revealing the hilt, mirroing the predatory wings on the pommel.

“Only those of true faith may gaze upon its blade” Vittorja recounted. Mezmorized by it beauty he continued revealing a long but perfectly balanced blade, The decisive killing tool” He Silibated.

He traced a finger over the Rhunic writing that was inlaid with precious metals on the blade He did not recognize the script despite being a scholar of languages.

“With this you will be a weapon of the Camilla”

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Interview with Monte Cook!!!!!

Firstly thank you for making a geek’s dream come true. I truly appreciate you taking the time to talk with us, especially with your busy schedule.

Thanks for asking!Could you please tell us about yourself: age, hobbies outside gaming, so on?I’m 44. I live in Seattle. Besides gaming, I really enjoy writing fiction, reading, travel, music, and movies. I also am really into Legos! So, I’m a big geek.

How did you initially get into playing RPGs?I heard about roleplaying games when I was about ten years old, in Sunday school of all places. Two brothers were talking about a map on graph paper, traps, monsters, and a magical crown. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I knew I wanted in.What was the first gaming system you played in? Can you remember anything about your First Character?D&D (the original, small booklets from 1974) was the first game I played. It wasn’t until a year or two later that I actually owned any rpg products, the first being the just-released AD&D DMG. My first character was a fighter, and I don’t remember much about him. Later, though, I remember having a
ranger named Thad the Brave.Do you get to play in a campaign, how often do you play? When you do, what system do you normally play?Until just a couple of weeks ago, I was in a play test for the new, upcoming edition of D&D. Before that, I was running a variation on 3rd edition with a lot of house rules (most of which appear in the books The Book of Experimental Might I and II) for a few years.

What is your favorite character you have played, could you tell us something about them?

That would probably be Malhavoc, a D&D wizard/cleric that I played long, long ago. He was an evil character that redeemed himself in the end.

Mostly, though, I don’t play much. I run games instead. I’d say I’m the GM about 98% of the time when I play an rpg.Do you have any funny gaming moments?

Sure. Thousands. I think everyone does. One time, a paladin vain about his appearance was on a quest to bring a villain named Helmut Itlestein to justice. He followed him into this otherworldly realm where an evil demigod lived. The demigod told the paladin that the man was dead. The paladin demanded proof to take back with him. So the demigod burned the words “Helmut Itlestein is dead” onto the paladin’s beautiful face.

I can be a mean DM.

Do you have any gaming superstitions?

Not really. I’m not touchy or particular about dice or sheets or anything.

Considering all of the items you’ve published throughout the years, what is the one thing you’re most proud of?

That’s really hard. I suppose it might be the campaign setting, Ptolus, just because it came out so wonderfully. It’s beautiful, it’s a feat of game design and editing (it takes a lot of broad steps forward in how a product can be presented), and I’m still quite in love with the content.

That said, D&D 3rd Edition made hundreds of thousands of people really happy for a lot of years, so I’m proud of that too.

What’s a typical day in the life of Monte in terms of preparing your own role playing campaign

I usually make a lot of chicken scratch notes that would make sense to no one but me. For NPCs, I’ll often just prepare the most important stats, or just take something out of a published source and change what I need to (sometimes on the fly). Basically, I often prepare the big stuff, and sometimes the cool descriptions of things (I’m a very visual person), and then pull together the details on the fly.

I try to make that kind of “on the fly” GMing as easy as possible, though, so I keep things like lists of cool names, books with cool art, and products with stat blocks, cool spells, monsters, and whatnot close at hand.What’s the secret to being a good GM outside of following the official materials?

The number one key is making sure everyone’s having fun. Sounds oversimplified, but if you do that, you’ll run a good game. Fun trumps rules, story, and anything else. And remember, “everyone” includes you, too.

What do you think of the changes the way the RPG industry is currently changing, and heading towards more digital products?

I think we going to see interesting melding of tabletop and digital over the next few years. But tabletop will always have value for its social components.

What’s next for you?I also am writing a lot of fiction. You’ll see some of my short fiction popping up in various places this year.

Do you have any other parting words for all of the gamers out there?

Worry less about what other people are doing in their games, and focus more on having fun in your own. Edition wars are so tired, and have done terrible damage to the game and the audience. If you love your Honda, but someone else drives a Ford, it doesn’t affect how you drive. It’s a game no one is going to win, no matter how pithy your criticism of someone else’s system might be. We’re all gamers, and we all love games.

Interview with Filamena Young

First off, let me thank you for taking the time to be interviewed for Fumbl. I truly appreciate you taking the time to talk with us, especially with your busy schedule.

No problem at all. Without dialogue and contact to the outside world, game designers can turn into very grumpy cave dwellers very quickly.

Could you please tell us about yourself: age, hobbies outside gaming, so on?

Age? Ouch. Well, I’m just over 30. Steven King says you can’t accomplish anything serious as a writer before that, so I’ll take it as a good thing. My hobbies include chasing my two kids around, erm, between that and writing, I have no time for much of anything else. I like the occasional video games. Minecraft and the Sims. That sort of thing.

Who have you worked for, what games have you worked on?

So I worked on supplements for Vampire, Werewolf, Hunter and Mage for the New World of Darkness Line for White Wolf. I did a little bit of work on Blood in Feraldyn for Green Ronin. I worked on the High School Yearbook for Margret Weis’s Smallville, and a lot of small stuff here and there, plus the three games my company has put out in the last few years.

How did you initially get into playing RPGs?

About a hundred years ago, when I was young, my parents got me an NES and the first Final Fantasy game. I was hooked, my friend and I spent hours playing it to completion with a Nintendo Power as our guide. Later, my dad gave me a friends old (incomplete) box set of AD&D. It didn’t have all the dice. That didn’t stop me. I GMed for some friends and it was love at first roll. Soon after, I was in highschool playing games probably more than I spent doing school work. (Whoops. Don’t do that, kids in school.)

What was the first gaming system you played in? Can you remember anything about your First Character? 

As a player, I started with AD&D. I played a pacifistic priestess of a fertility goddess. You can imagine, AD&D was not kind to the roleplaying leaning-type, but my group loved it, and we adapted things to fit that style quickly. It got very political and social very quickly.

Do you get to play in a campaign, how often do you play? When you do, what system do you normally play?

I haven’t played a real campaign since the Carter Administration. The closest I get are some longer running World of Darkness chat-style games. It’s a very strange animal and I don’t have much time for even that these days. There’s just too many games to try and too many games I want to make. I miss the five-year long games of my youth, but I know I couldn’t go back even if I wanted to.

What is your favourite character you have played, could you tell us something about them?

It would probably be easier for me to tell you which was my favorite child. When I first met my husband, I had a Requiem character. She was a horror writer, and didn’t have much patience for the sillier sort of vampire she met. It could get snarky, but ultimately, she ended her story heading off to seek vampire-nirvana. A lot of fun.

Do you have any funny gaming moments?  At least a year or two back, we played a semi regular Hunter game. My husband was running it, and all the players were ladies. We did a lot of clever things to handle monsters from a distance, none of us were front-line sort of killers. Ultimately, we decided that there was almost no monster that couldn’t be handled most easily than by hitting them with a truck. The mental hoops we jumped through to get all manner of evil monster into situations where we could hit them with a truck were hilarious. I highly recommend it to any monster-slayer out there. It’s my weapon of choice now.

Do you have any gaming superstitions? (Personally I won’t use a Dice in a game until its rolled 1000 times!)

I don’t think so. I do pay attention to a sort of, mmm… Feng Shui at the gaming table. Sometimes if players are sitting in the wrong place, you know, it’s just not going to flow as well. But that might be practical too. Put the mousey, quieter players nearer to the GM, the loud attention cravers further. That sort of thing.

How did you get started with Flatpack? Where did your inspiration come from?

I wanted a game I’d feel happy about my daughters playing when they’re old enough. I also looked at the sorts of things I wanted to do in a game, and rather than wait for someone else to do it, I did it myself.

Why should we play it? Does it bring anything new to our gaming?

I wanted to focus on non-violent conflict resolution, community building, and borrow back aspects from video games I thought were cool. My character advancement system, for example, is drawn from video game Achievements. You do X, your character is now a little bit better at Y. People seem to be really digging that.

Considering all of the items you’ve published throughout the years, what is the one thing you’re most proud of?

Aww, that’s not fair. I really really enjoyed writing fiction for Amaranthine, our second game, but there’s something about doing all of the development and writing for Flatpack that’s very exciting.

What’s a typical day in the life of Filamena in terms of preparing her own role playing campaign?

Prepare? I’ve heard of it. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually done it. I’ll sometimes write down some clues or plot hooks and NPC notes on index cards, but by and large, I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-skirt sort.

What’s the secret to being a good writer?

Sit down and do it. You can always fix it later. Talking about the processes, reading about it, that’s all cool, but a lot of people let that get in the way. Theory is only good if you apply it to practice. I’d rather be polished through practice than study. JD Salinger types only confuse me.

What do you think of the changes the way the RPG industry is currently changing, and heading towards more digital products?

Yay! More games is better than fewer. More games that break the same molds over and over. That’s the way to go.

What kind of new goodies are coming out from Machine Age Productions?

Aside from the million books I’ll be doing for Flatpack to go along with the Kickstarter, (three, at this point) We’re doing series three of Guestbook pretty much as we speak. Next up, and hopefully for Gencon of this year, David’s designing what he calls a ‘progressive post-fantasy’ game. I’m not sure how he’s going to unpack that statement yet, but he came up with calling Flatpack an ‘Optimistic Apocalyptic’ game, so I’m ready for the fun. I believe the scientific method will be a big part of the system. Also, archeology. Really. It’s gonna be cool.

What’s next for you?

Rumor has it I’ll be working on something that Margret Weis is rolling out now. (Its okay to be a little jealous.) I’m also likely going to be doing a game hack for Evil Hat’s Don’t Rest Your Head book of hacks. After that, it’ll be rushing to complete stuff for Gencon, and having a third kid in May. (Woo!) So basically, I have to type in my sleep to get it all done. But it’ll be worth it.

Do you have any other parting words for all of the gamers out there?

Yeah. We can make gaming better, safer, and bigger with room for all sorts of games and players. We can be welcoming and increase our numbers and make sure the industry thrives. There’s room for everyone, if we just make room.