Written by: James S.
A Vampire is an undead creature known for its insatiable thirst for blood and supernatural powers. However, their true nature is revealed by their pale skin, sharp fangs, and crimson, hypnotic eyes. In the tranquil setting of the "Peaceful Village Church - Original Sunset" Czepeku battlemap, here are elements to consider for the following encounter:
- The Vampire sleeps, hidden, and the sun is rapidly setting.
- Time is limited, and there are many places the Spawn could be.
- The old priest, a thrall of the Spawn, seems oblivious but will try to delay players with talk.
- Clues to the Spawn’s whereabouts are scattered across the scene.
This Vampire is young. Brazen. Blood-drunk on its newfound power, it fed with reckless abandon on the inhabitants of a nearby settlement. Now, it has fled to this quiet church on the fringe of the village. The players have tracked it. They know it lies somewhere on the grounds, but not exactly where—a crucial part of the puzzle. It does not possess the same guile as its older kin but harbours an animal desperation to live. No hiding place is beneath its dignity.
The important thing here is time. The Vampire will rise to feed as the crimson light of sunset bathes the belfry. The moment the sun’s golden lip dips behind the trees, time is up. Consider using a clock to track the players’ efforts and have the sun sink lower each time their search proves fruitless.
The Vampire changes where it hides each night. It has no coffin to call home, no burial crypt. It must make do with what sorry accommodation it can find. Describe the scene in great detail. Give the players lots of options to explore. Make it seem like there are too many places to look.
Possible hiding places and clues could include:
- A freshly dug grave, dark earth piled in a heap. An old shovel juts from the ground. Mud crusts the priest’s hands.
- Crammed in a wine barrel in the outhouse. The Spawn lies contorted inside. The foetid stench of blood and dirt stifles the players as they walk into the ivy-covered shack.
- Squirreled in the rafters of the nave. A dusting of debris fallen from its makeshift nest litters the floor below. Straw, altar cloth, crumpled pages of scripture, anything to keep the light out.
- In the shadowed depths of a dry well. Simply by peering in, they might see it lying at the bottom like a forgotten corpse. Though this could also be the Spawn’s last meal.
You should probably decide where the Vampire is before the players start looking so that you avoid a dissatisfying scene full of red herrings. Wherever the players encounter the Vampire Spawn, you should emphasise how dishevelled it looks—torn clothes, dirt-encrusted skin, ragged and bloody fingernails.
This encounter could go one of several ways:
- The players find the Spawn before sunset. Paralysed, it gives no struggle. They might drag its limp body into the sunlight or set it alight. An old-fashioned hammer and stake to the heart works too (in which case there should be blood. Lots and lots of blood. A comical amount of it). Whatever they do, it screams—an animal howling that chills their bones.
- The players leave before sunset. The Spawn wants to remain secret, and the players have come dangerously close. It now has a vendetta against them for the rest of its un-life.
- The players fail to find the Spawn before sunset. It rises. It might simply fly at the players in a bloodthirsty rage, screaming and bestial.
- Alternatively, it might try to speak to the players and tell them that it can give them something, even the power to be like it. This is what Vampires do. They beguile, they entrance. Whatever it does, make sure you talk about the wide eyes, the desperate glint. It knows it’s in trouble. It will say anything to survive.
- This could all be an ambush. Perhaps the priest is behind them, sneaking, shovel raised. Or perhaps he’s piling the door shut with dry branches and oil while the Vampire talks…
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