Dirge of the Dragon
You awaken in a darkened room illuminated only by moonlight coming from the single window on your right. Lying on an elevated bed, the sterile atmosphere and smell of antiseptic quickly tells you where you are.
A shadowed figure, sitting in silence by your bedside, regards you solemnly. As she leans forward into the dim light, her clothing identifies her as someone other than your doctor. Her iridescent skin and straight black hair gives her a supernatural appearance, and for a moment, you wonder if she is a ghost. There is an eerie stillness about her as you wait for her to speak, and you realize that she does not appear to be breathing.
Your heart begins to pump maddeningly in her presence, and the desire to flee from her, suddenly blossoms into a full-fledged need.
She speaks low and forceful. You find that you are unable to resist her command, though your heart continues to pound.
“JD, I will not hurt you. Do not be afraid.”
You stammer for words, but her beauty and countenance stymie you. She pauses a moment before continuing.
“My name is Charlotte. You have suffered a terrible accident.”
She explains that in a state of rage you attacked the men who were bullying the woman in the lounge. The woman managed to escape, but you suffered terrible wounds in attacking the 3 men. They fled the scene, leaving you bruised and bleeding, but your wounds didn’t appear as bad as they were.
“There must have been internal bleeding because your pulse continued to slow. Someone called an ambulence. I rode with you, and was there when you… died.”
Falteringly, you manage to get out, “Am I…?”
“Yes.” She replies. “But not in the way you think.”
From there, she explains the basics of your vampiric nature, and though unbelieving at first, you are quickly convinced just by looking at the palor of her skin. Although you have many questions, it seems important to her to explain why she ‘embraced’ you. Your skill as a musician and the sorrowful beauty inherent in your whole demeanor seemed too great a loss, it seemed to weigh on her soul. Her associates (You note that she does not call them friends) often admired your skill and wagered that you would be one of the great musicians of our time, if properly schooled and motivated. To let that dream die… seemed wrong to her. You note that in her choice of words and her tone, she seems to almost be seeking your approval.
Charlotte is in a rush to get you out of the hospital. Daylight is approaching. Julie Stanton, the woman you saved, is waiting outside your room to give you and your ‘finacee’ some space. (That’s what Charlotte told them so they would let her ride in the ambulance and give you some quiet time together.)
You speak with Julie for a moment, but you can’t recall in detail what was spoken, as you are too distracted with how things have changed. Everything looks and feels… different somehow. You are lost in is this incongruence. It is different in look, touch, taste and sound. Everything is amplified.
At Charlotte’s desperate urging, you find your way into an old, unused subway tunnel, as there is not enough time to reach her ‘haven’, or place of resting that evening. While in the tunnels, she stops and and listens, paranoid about someone or something called the ‘Trad Magus’.
With nothing but a handful of newspapers to cover you, she instructs that you wedge yourself beneath the walkway to the side of the broken rails. She does the same on the opposite side, using the scattered newspapers to cover you.
As you cover yourself with papers, you find yourself increasingly fatigued. Each movement a burden. Instead of being uncomfortable though, you find yourself so fatigued, that you don’t care. Nor has the cold bothered you in the slightest. You drift off in a sleep more heavy and complete than any you have known.
Charlotte wakens you. You find yourself in the dark, your mouth dry, a strange thirst on your lips.
“They were here.” Charlotte breathes, terror heavy in her voice. “I can sense their blood. They must have just missed us. It’s good we hid ourselves. Come, we have to run!”
At this time, you find yourself chasing after Charlotte. You can ask questions or take actions, but she is rapidly moving away from you, expecting you to keep up. I’d also like to know what you spoke to Julie about, if anything, and if you remember anything about your attackers. What is JD thinking at this moment, other than “Where is my violin?”
i chase after her yelling "whats going on? who are we running from? i am thinking whats going on? i am so confused, what are the trad magus? start talking right now or i will swear i will stop! , with julie i did not say much of anyting, with my head down, and mumbling i asked her if she was ok. and i walked away. the men looked like rugbee players but thats all i remember.
Make a Resolve + Composure roll to see how you interact with Charlotte right now. She is supernaturally beautiful, but not in a ‘sexed-up’ way. She has more of a ethereal, wistful, gothic beauty to her that gives you pause. To make this roll, just look at your Resolve and Composure scores (You can see them now on you character sheet on obsidianportal.com) add them together and roll that many dice. Give me your results.
8 3 4 9
Feeling a surge of pent-up frustration and emotion, JD chases after Charlotte, yelling “What’s going on!?” The yell echoes through the tunnels. In a flash, Charlotte was by his side, covering his mouth with her hand.
“What do you think you’re doing!?” She whispered intenesly.
JD dropped his voice several decibels. “Well? What is going on? Who are we running from? What are the Trad Magus? Just… tell me.”
Charlotte looked angry, but nodded. “The Trad Magus is a group of dangerous witches who would love nothing more than to catch two foolish vampires. Now come on.”
With that, she spun about, and ran into the darkness. JD followed after only a moment’s hesitation.
After taking several twists and turns, the tunnel emerged adjacent to a canal near Monsignor O’Brien Highway, just north of the hospital. The stars and open night sky never looked so good. Cars could be heard above, and the sounds of civilization were a comfort to JD. They walked for a bit without talking, finally finding their way to a concrete bench in Nashua Street Park, where they sat down, overlooking the northern bay.
“I think you should come live with me for a while.” Charlotte said. Before JD could speak, she continued. “Don’t infer anything by it, it’s just that it would be safer, and you are now my responsibility.”
JD seemed lost in thought. He suddenly realized that an entire day had passed, and he had missed his classes at Julliard for that day. He was panic-stricken.
Well? What does JD have to say? Does he move in with her? What is he going to do about his classes?
looking up at her he tries to say, do you know how hard it is for me to even look a women in the eye? let alone talk to her? i cant even think of living with one. and why am i so thirsty? i missed my classes today, what am i going to do? i need to talk to my instructers and see if i can move them to night, and he wants two things, to find his violion and play, the other is to find the rugbee players and…chat with them.
I rolled a 8 5 6 11 for my roll to talk.
You didn’t need to make a roll to talk to her this time around. The previous roll lasts the whole scene, so you’re fine. Also: an 11? The highest roll you should every get is a 10. How did you end up with an 11? You shouldn’t be adding anything to your rolls.
Charlotte pauses for a moment, letting his words sink in.
“I understand your feelings. I’ve seen how uncomfortable you are around those of the opposite sex. If I were you, I would end your classes now. End any relationship you have. It will be easier in the long run. Trust me. As for your violin… I don’t know where it is. Hopefully Jarod grabbed it.”
Jarod is the owner of the ‘Moodswing’, the lounge where you were playing when you were turned.
JD doesn’t reply immediately, so Charlotte continues, taking the forceful route. “Look, I’m in more jeopardy now because of you. My life is on the line just as much as yours is. I wasn’t looking for this huge life-changing decision, but now that I’ve made it, we’re in it together. If you go your own way, that’s fine – but be warned: I don’t think you’ll last longer than 3 days without me. I’m not trying to be condescending, I’m just saying… there are worse things than vampires out there.”
It’s time to make a choice. Do you go with her, or make your own way?
I go with her. Sorry I rolled 4 d 12s instead of d10s that time. My bad.
After careful thought, JD nodded his assent to Charlotte. She stood and drew him upward. The ground seemed to weigh him down. She knew how he felt. Remembered how she had felt when her sire had turned her. Her thoughts carried her far away to her home in Sweden… She walked ahead of him a space, then turned around and beckoned him with a nod towards the road.
They walked to North Station in silence, and boarded the Orange Line subway north.
You’ll get off at Community College Station on the other side of the bay and catch a bus to where she lives, near St Mary’s Parish in Charlestown. The next few nights are relatively calm. You can move one or two classes to nights, but some of the classes you need are only during the day. What are you going to do about those?
I’m assuming you move your stuff over the next little bit. Charlotte sleeps in a polished white coffin made of wood. It is elaborately padded on the inside with red velvet. You sleep in her walk in closet, which has a door on it, so no light penetrates during the day. She suggests you make some kind of arrangements to sleep somewhere other than the closet, though.
Additionally, Jarod over at Moodswing will give you a call and ask if you are coming back sometime soon.
for the time being i will have to deal with only my night classes, work with my professers. tell jerod that i will be there tomorrow night to play, and when i am there i ask him what school the guys went to and if he knows who they where. oh and how much money do i have, and how much does a coffin cost?
On the subway ride home, a hot, spicy scent, not unlike cinnamon, pervaded JD’s senses. He closed his eyes, and let the scent wash over him. It surrounded him. When Charlotte prodded him off the subway and onto the bus, he was barely paying attention. JD was experiencing something new. Something he hadn’t felt before, at least not quite in this way.
JD was famished.
As he boarded the bus, he smelled the aroma again. Smooth. Inviting. Like vanilla permeating a neighbors home, inviting you in. He heard drums. A cacophony of drums. Hearts beating in different time. As he listened, it sounded like music – an ancient tribal tune that entranced him.
The tune continued. The Beast, newly awakened in him recognized the call by base instinct, though he was not consciously aware of it. The blood called out to him, and he had to respond. His fangs extended.
JD has not yet fed on blood, and finds himself surrounded by it. He is hungry, and must now either immediately give in to his more savage nature, inducing a frenzy, or try and resist to wait for a more opportune time. If you try and resist, roll Resolve + Composure. Let me know what you get. Oh yeah, since you’re hungry, you get -1 die. Just a heads up. Oh, and I want you to roll twice. So, two sets of rolls.
the first one is 10 9 5 and the second one 2 3 4
JD lurched forward, gripping the thin wrist of a young college student across the aisle from him. She whipped her head up in alarm. Charlotte did the same.
“JD, what are you doing?!” Charlotte’s harsh whisper brought him momentarily to his senses as the girl pulled her hand out of his grasp.
JD looked at Charlotte, then back to the young woman. He could hear the supple beat of her heart. Feel the rhythm. He just wanted to touch it.
Charlotte gripped his shoulder in a vice-like grip. “Do not do this to me now. Just… wait. Just a little longer, okay?”
What was he thinking? He pulled air into his lungs intentionally, realizing as he did so, that he hadn’t for a while. Hadn’t been breathing, that is. He was like Charlotte now that way, and he wondered at it. He looked back at the blonde young woman whose arm he had grabbed. She had moved now, toward the front of the bus, eying him with an angry caution, keeping her distance. She looked away, out into the night traffic.
He closed his eyes. All he could hear was the steady thrum. He licked the roof of his mouth with his tongue, twisting and turning it. He played it across his canines, now extended abnormally long inside his mouth. He wanted to feel them with his finger. He sucked saliva down his throat and looked up, locking eyes with the startled college girl again. This time, the gaze held. He could see her pulse in her supple neck, smell her blood from a distance. He wanted her to belong to him. The thrum continued, echoing maddeningly in his skull. The blood called to him. Called to him, and would not be denied!
With a flicker of speed and a ravenous cry, he leaped the distance across the bus and seized hold of the 19 year old. She screamed in terror, seeing madness in his eyes. JD plunged his teeth into her neck and the blood flowed. Across his face, into his mouth. He sucked the luscious nectar in. The bus lurched to a halt, throwing their bodies against the front of the bus, and dislodging him for a moment that seemed like an eternity.
Screams filled the space. Charlotte ripped him away from his victim just as he turned back to her. With a single hand she ripped the bus door off it’s hinges, and yanked him out, throwing him into the street. Terrified faces filled the side of the bus as citizens stared at the would-be killer.
JD had to get back on the bus. He regained his feet, only to have them thrown out from under him as some woman threw him away from the bus, onto the sidewalk. He stumbled into a group of standing bicycles and they tumbled down, a cascade of metal dominoes.
His eyes glazed red. He stood purposefully, facing this new foe. She assumed a half-crouching defensive posture. He walked toward her, intending her destruction.
“Justin Duke. Where is your violin?”
JD suddenly stopped, wondering. Then, he looked around. Coming to his senses, he suddenly realized the scene of abstract terror he was in and realized that he was its fulcrum. He looked down, and saw blood all over his shirt, clothes, and hands. He touched his face. It came away more crimson still.
“Justin.” Charlotte called to him as crowded bystanders gawked, trying to back away, but too intrigued to run.
Charlotte reached a hand out to him. “I know the hunger you feel. Come with me.”
JD stumbled, but took a step forward, taking her hand into his own. Hand in hand, he bled tears as they ran off into the night.
As you have just discovered, Frenzy is a very real danger for vampires. Resisting it is an extended action. You had to resist it twice. You did so once. The second time… not so much. I’ll continue off of your previous plans the next time I post, but this will be the first time JD fully realizes what he has become and what his new life entails. What is the fallout? How does he react? Charlotte will make sure you are fed by the time you get home, but you’ve had to elude the police at least twice by the time you get there.
He feels like a monster, he attacked the one thing in the world he said he would never hurt. women. but he only partly places the blame on him self. in his opinion if it was not for the rugbee players he would still be human, and thus he would never had attacked the girl on the bus. he has made up his mind. They all have to die. and he wants to be the one standing over their bloody bodies as they bleed out.
Charlotte’s haven turned out to be an unassuming brick apartment building in Charlestown, the front of which, bore a tiny victorian style turret, with wooden carvings. She rented out the entire top floor, which could be accessed by either the front door, or an unassuming fire escape, which they used to gain entrance.
As JD climbed through the window after Charlotte, he breathed in. Her place smelled of brown sugar and rum. It gave the place a warm, inviting feel.
The apartment was filled with hardwood floors stained so dark as to be almost black, covered in places by elaborately woven rugs. Whitewashed wood paneling covered the walls, and plants and greenery of all shapes and sizes filled the rest of the space.
Charlotte gave him the grand tour: The top floor was more spacious than it appeared from the ground, with several unadorned bedrooms, two of which were linked by a small, shared bathroom with white tiling and an antique bathtub that stood on legs with golden filigree. At Charlotte’s urging, JD removed his bloodied clothing, and cleaned up before continuing the tour in a borrowed white bathrobe.
JD was surprised to find the kitchen stocked with fresh food in the pantry and refrigerator, although the bottom two drawers of the latter were filled with blood bags. Before JD could ask, Charlotte gave him the answer. “I have a friend who works in a local clinic. They just found out he’s been selling samples and got fired, though, so that’s the last of it for a while.”
There was a full set of cooking utencils, which hung from a metal framework, and eleven bottles of wine in a wooden rack above the pantry. They were very old.
“What do you do with all the food?” JD asked.
“Sometimes I have guests who aren’t vampires.” Charlotte replied.
“Do they know?” JD asked.
“Not usually.” Charlotte said with a shrug.
A small entertainment room sat across from the kitchen. The entry door was located here. Although filled with books, chairs, a coffee table, and a giant white harp, JD noticed there was no television to speak of.
Last of all was Charlotte’s room. It was the largest in the apartment, and was adorned by more plants, and a luxurious white couch upholstered in satin. Two matching chairs sat across from it. Beyond the chairs there was a beautiful mahogany desk which was clearly hand-crafted by the look of the handles and carving on the piece. Mounting it was a computer monitor. JD correctly surmised the keyboard and mouse were hidden within a pullout drawer. Windows surmounted two adjoining walls that looked out on a local parish next door.
The largest furnishing in the room was also the most impressive. A coffin of wood, also whitewashed, and polished to a mirror-like sheen. The thing was elaborate, with inlaid carvings that ran along each edge. They were hard to make out because the whole thing was done up in white. JD ran his hand across it, feeling the flow of the wood. Like the tub, it too stood on golden legs.
Charlotte opened it, revealing cushiony red upholstry on the inside.
“We’ve had a long night. You can get some rest in my closet.” she said, pointing to the corner door. “Don’t forget to close the door, or you’ll be unhappy come morning.”
That was the last she said that evening. Fatigued from the nights adventure, she looked relieved as she climbed inside her resting place and closed the door.
JD heard an audible ‘click’ from the inside.
JD was tired too, and although her closet was large, he found himself wishing for the comfort of cushiony upholstry, much like Charlotte was now enjoying. He closed the door, surrounding himself in darkness, then laid down on the floor, wondering on the blood he had shed this night… and in the nights to come.
The following nights returned a measure of normalcy to JD’s life. He moved his clothes and other belongings to the room on the other side of the bathroom in Charlotte’s apartment, put his own apartment up for sale, and began playing again at Moodswing. He had to find some way of getting money. He wanted a coffin like Charlotte’s, but even cheap ones were almost a thousand dollars. Despite his album, he only had about twelve hundred in savings, and Charlotte had asked him to help with the rent, which was going to run him five hundred a month. Cheap, but she was being very generous. On top of that, he needed a new violin. His had been smashed in the altercation of previous nights. For now he was playing one borrowed from Julliard until he could afford a new one.
Professor Holm, one of his professors, gave him no end of grief about moving his classes. As first violinist, he had left her in a lurch with a concert next week, and she called him non-stop. He finally started ignoring her calls, but she didn’t take the hint.
Last, and most unusual, he began to feel like someone was watching him. He couldn’t tell who, but it always occurred at Moodswing. He knew that Charlotte had friends there, but she was keeping her distance for now, giving him space to discover things on his own. He discovered that when he encountered Charlotte, it was accompanied momentarily by an uncontrollable urge to flee. The feeling would soon pass after that, but it was there each time. This, Charlotte had told him, was the Beast. A feeling of dread that accompanies the encounter of another vampire, particularly elders, or those with potent blood. Although she wouldn’t explain the last part, he understood the meaning: When he felt the anxiety hit him, another of the Kindred was close at hand. It was this feeling that assaulted him in recent nights playing at the lounge.
Ah. That was a long stretch there, filled with stuff. Not a whole lot to do, but we are pretty close to starting now with the group now. Any detours along the way you want to toss at me?