Marsh tracks a vampire; Curruthers sets it alight.
8th October 2009.
- Doctor Hilary Crabb – an Army Surgeon.
- Professor Augustus Wyntermere – a Backroom Boffin.
- Captain Benson Curruthers – a Military Policeman.
- Rodney Marsh – a 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.