Thousand Year Old Vampire – Chapter 11: Burdened

This is the eleventh part of my playthrough of Tim Hutchings’ Thousand Year Old Vampire. To see my overview of the game, click HERE, and to see the cast of characters and the origin of Nathaniel Morrison, vampire, click HERE. Click the tags to see all of the posts pertaining to this game. TW: Violence, implied violence against a child


April 2. 15xx

The Architects of Earth elude me.

In the last month since I saw fit to record my deeds in this journal, I have, on the whole, been unsuccessful in rooting out anyone of import within the cult’s ranks. Sure, I have discovered various, low-ranking members of its hierarchy and strangled scant details of the Order’s plans–a shipment of weapons here, a cache of money there, but nothing that would lead me to anyone who knew where any of this was heading, or what the cabal’s true plans were. That is, until yesterday.

The night before, I had…interrogated a stevedore whom I knew to be in the employ of a known initiate of the Architects. This dockworker had, on occasion, also worked as a courier of sorts, running errands for his employer. After disappointingly little resistance, the man told me of an estate just outside of the city where he had been asked to deliver some unknown cargo. I thanked this man with a merciful end and made my way to the estate.

London Bridge by Louis Kenney Harlow, found at the Library of Congress

It was obvious by the activity around the manor that it was being prepared for some event. I watched the property overnight from the trees, and determined that whatever was going to happen, it would happen soon, but not that night.

Luckily, the next night, the visitors began to arrive. Masked and anonymous, they approached the front gate and gave a hand signal, while stating (as I could hear from my vantage point, my hearing being more acute than it had been when I was mortal), “I am no God, I am no King, a am no Lord. I am merely an Architect.” A wordy passphrase, to be sure.

Stealthily, I snuck behind a carriage that was approached the manor. I flung open the door, shutting it behind me with one hand while my other found the throat of the occupant. I pulled him towards me and drank the life from him, careful not to spill any on his clothes.

When the carriage stopped, I exited in the former occupant’s garb, and, making the sign and saying the words, I was led into the parlor. I will spare you the details of the opulence here; just know that it was beyond the means of any of the merchants in the city. I was led to the basement of this palace, and this is where things became…interesting.

On the basement floor was painted a magick circle, not very unlike the ones I was familiar with. There were sigils and seals of demons I had never heard of, but that is of no surprise; demons have many names, and I only knew those that the Order of the Shrouded Lady used, and even those had begun to fade from my memory. There were ten other men here, all cloaked and masked, standing around an altar in the center of the room, each holding a candle and a dagger. One man, whom I believe to be the master of this lodge, handed me a candle, and I noted that my costume did have a dagger in a sheath at my side.

From Trenchard, James, Engraver. The reverse of the great seal of the United States / JT sculp
. United States, 1786. Photograph.

The detail that you will no doubt find the most disturbing, however, was the child sitting on the altar, dressed in white. I knew the symbolism immediately: he was a lamb. An innocent.

Now, as you know, I have very little of my humanity left in me. I cannot say why the red rage filled me as it did a that moment. Perhaps it was that I was in a place of magickal power, and it fueled whatever was in me. Perhaps it was the knowledge that, while these men were no doubt higher ranking members of this cult I had uncovered, they were probably not the masters. Perhaps it really was some sort of concern for the well-being of the child. Never-the-less, I will once again spare you the details of the violence that occurred in that room last night. I will not describe the feats of demonic strength I displayed, or of the ways in which my thirsts, both for violence and for blood, were sated.

I will, however, assure you that no harm befell the child, who seemed to be in some sort of trance. He was oblivious to what had occurred. Of course, by the time I set to leave that place, the sun was rising, and authorities–soldiers? Constables? Clergymen?–had surrounded the estate. I seems that the men whom I had interrupted had screamed too loudly, and the servants of the manor had alerted somebody. Whistles blew and dogs barked. I had to escape. I had to fly, which was unfortunate, because I would surely be seen. While my enemies could not see my face, they would at least know that a monster walked amongst them.

I do not know why I took the child with me. He had begun to stir from his trance, and perhaps I did not want him to see the state of the room he was in.

So now I sit here in my room, writing in my journal while this child sleeps.

What have I gotten myself into?

Chapter eleven postmortem.

Mechanical considerations and my updated character sheet appear on the next page.

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