The Temple Vampire, episode 5

Marsh tracks a vam­pire; Cur­ruth­ers sets it alight.


8th Octo­ber 2009.

Dramatis Personae

  • Doc­tor Hil­ary Crabb – an Army Sur­geon.
  • Pro­fess­or Augus­tus Wyn­termere – a Back­room Boffin.
  • Cap­tain Ben­son Cur­ruth­ersa Mil­it­ary Police­man.
  • Rod­ney Marsha Par­tially-reformed Thief.
  • Edie – a Lady of Ill-repute.
  • Peter Hawkins – a Pale Youth.
  • A small num­ber of oth­er Pale Youths.
  • Assor­ted Loc­al Res­id­ents.


Fol­low­ing their some­what-alarm­ing encounter with a fast, appar­ently invul­ner­able being, the team escaped from the tav­ern, con­stantly check­ing behind them and pre­par­ing to fight if it proved neces­sary. As it happened, they made it to the street before the enraged Hawkins caught them. Hail­ing a cab, they retreated towards Shaft­es­bury Aven­ue, leav­ing their pur­suer to decide not to fol­low them.

Enter­ing the Min­istry, they began to com­pare notes, decide what they were deal­ing with and dis­cuss how to pro­ceed. They rap­idly came to the con­clu­sion that they were deal­ing with a vam­pire, based on its prowess and appar­ent invul­ner­ab­il­ity to Lady Ant­o­nia’s guns. They then began to research the records on these mon­sters. Sur­pris­ingly, for such a well-known creature, there was very little in the way of inform­a­tion, as it seemed Min­istry agents had encountered very few. What little doc­u­ment­a­tion they had was culled from pop­u­lar lit­er­at­ure and third-hand reports from Europe – not very reli­able sources.

They decided to pre­pare them­selves for the pop­ularly-known powers and vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies and armed them­selves accord­ingly. Aim­ing to catch him as soon as pos­sible, they ignored the option to get mil­it­ary sup­port and headed back into the dense fog of the night, accom­pan­ied by Cap­tain Cur­ruth­ers, hop­ing to catch him at the tavern.

As it happened, Hawkins and his gang had already left, head­ing else­where in town. The group split up, the major­ity work­ing their way towards the East End by fol­low­ing some obvi­ous tracks in the mud and ask­ing bystand­ers for help, while Marsh once more used his rat talis­man to track them by scent. Los­ing the trail, the main group met up with Marsh who had tracked the vam­pire to a Dock­lands brothel before being forced to revert to his nor­mal shape. They began to stake out the build­ing, identi­fy­ing sev­er­al mem­bers of the vam­pire’s gang, but Cur­ruth­ers spot­ted a pair of fig­ures leav­ing the back of the build­ing and head­ing out into the fog.

Marsh con­firmed it was Hawkins, accom­pan­ied by Edie, the pros­ti­tute he had befriended earli­er. Assum­ing that the vam­pire inten­ded to feed on her, the team sped into action, Crabbe and Lady Ant­o­nia tak­ing (inef­fec­tu­al) pis­tol shots at Hawkins, while Wyn­termere closed to use his entan­gle­ment weapon. Cur­ruth­ers and Marsh closed in to take on the (hope­fully) immob­il­ised vam­pire. Unfor­tu­nately, Hawkins was not securely caught in the foam, although Edie was, and broke free eas­ily. Marsh and Cur­ruth­ers launched a phys­ic­al assault, the lat­ter man­aging to grab hold of the mon­ster­’s head. Shak­ing them off, Hawkins fled and they pur­sued, Marsh suc­ceed­ing in set­ting fire to his coat with a torch.

Unfor­tu­nately, the damp air put the fire out with­in a few hun­dred yards, but the team dog­gedly pur­sued the vam­pire into North Lon­don, using a vari­ety of tech­niques to keep the trail. Sev­er­al hours later, drenched and exhausted, they reached Highg­ate Cemetery and finally cornered their quarry in an opened vault near day­light. When they enered the buri­al cham­ber, they found a coffin on a bier and, open­ing it, found the charred corpse of Peter Hawkins. As they pre­pared to drive a stake into his chest, the vam­pire woke up and attemp­ted to fight back. Using torches, they backed it into a corner and finally set it alight. Although the thick, black smoke drove them back out into the dawn air, they returned once it had cleared to dis­cov­er a pile of blackened bones.

The vam­pire was dead.

The inquiry into their tak­ing action without author­ity would take a little longer…


The ori­gin­al idea for this ses­sion involved them call­ing on the ser­vices of the Roy­al Eso­ter­ic Guard to help them take out the vam­pire, lead­ing to a pitched battle amongst the grave­stones between the sol­diers and the vam­pire’s gang. Alas, this was not to be!

What the team nev­er dis­covered was that the death of Simon Barchester was a case of mis­taken iden­tity – he was an inno­cent stock­broker with the secret of etern­al life who had noth­ing to do with vam­pires. There’s also the small mat­ter of a num­ber of oth­er poten­tially-infec­ted youths run­ning around the East End (Hawkins’ gang) and who exactly was respons­ible for the vam­pire’s con­di­tion? I intend to return to these mat­ters at a later date!

This marked the end of the first arc of the tales of the Min­istry of Blades, but the inten­tion is to return to the char­ac­ters and set­ting for a fur­ther arc soon.