Thousand Year Old Vampire – Chapter 8: Visited

This is the eighth 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.


February 12, 15xx

I was surprised this morning to hear voices outside my gates. It had been nearly two weeks since I began casting my wards on the tower, and I had hoped that my work, along with the reputation I had inadvertently gained prior to my apparent capture by the Church, would scare off any curious tresspassers.

“Nathaniel Morrison!?!” A voice cried. I recognized it immediately, and knew that it could only mean trouble. It was John Dee, the very man who had me expelled from The Order of the Shrouded Lady years ago, now advisor to the court of Queen Elizabeth. What could he want now?

I dressed and greeted him. He stood there, dressed in rich velvets and silks, full of pomp and pretense. Another man stood beside him, a short, plump, gray man dressed more modestly. “Well met, Mr. Dee,” I said sarcastically.

He regarded me carefully. “So, it is true,” he said with pity in his voice.

“What is true? Why are you here?” I would not hesitate to kill this man if needed. “And who is this?” I said, pointing to the gray man.

The gray man stared for a moment, wide-eyed, in awe or terror, before introducing himself. “S-sir, I am Mr. Kelley. I assist Doctor Dee in…esoteric matters.”

“I’ll be blunt,” John interrupted. “The Queen has heard rumors regarding the estate of Lady Fousburry. Rumors that, if true, and if left unchecked, could cause some difficulties between England and Rome.”

“Well, the rumors are not true,” I said.

“Please. Nathaniel. We both know why you left the Order.”

The rage began to build. I could even in the morning, when my powers are waning, I could smell his blood. “Because of you.”

“Nathaniel, I am not here to relitigate the past. I have spoken with Lady Fousburry. She is much sharper than I had given her credit for. Did you know that her brother kept very detailed notes regarding just about every person of import that he associated with?”

“I suppose,” I said, growing tired of his voice.

“Did you know he kept notes on you? And the things you told him? About me?”

I realized where this was going. “Of course. And now Sarah knows of your involvement with the order.”

“So you see,” he continued. “This puts me in a predicament. If I do my duty, your Lady will destroy my reputation. If I let you carry on, it could mean war, and eventually, your Lady will still lose her lands.”

This was, obviously, a trap. John was one of the smartest men I ever met, and in matters of intrigue, he was always three steps ahead. “You could report that the rumors are untrue.”

“I could,” he said. “But where I was afraid that I would find you here committing all sorts of diablerie, I see now that the truth is much more dire. You are no longer human.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” I said, I admit, unconvincingly.

Kelley spoke up. “While the Doctor is an expert on all things magickal, I am experienced in other…occult matters,” he explained nervously. “You are vampiri. It is plain as day. Excuse the expression.”

Dee interjected. “This is an entirely unexpected development, to be sure, but it is one that may work to our mutual advantage.”

This was curious. I was still fairly certain I would kill Dee and his assistant, but I wanted to hear this proposal.

“You see,” Dee began, “in the service of Her Majesty, I have the need of certain…assets, if you will. People whom I can call on to provide information, resources, or, if the need be, abilities. I have no need for magicians, you see…I have no shortage of those. However, you are no magician. I’m sure you have noticed that your magical practices have become more difficult, and less effective, since your new condition?”

I said nothing, though it was true, I have to admit.

Mr. Kelley spoke again. “Your kind is cut off from the Heavens and from Hell, from whence all magick is derived. You have, in a sense, traded your soul for abilities beyond which magic can provide.”

Again, Dee interrupted. “I could have use for you, though. If you agree, for now at least, I can get between the Church and the Queen. You can remain here.”

“And what do you get in return?” I asked, not comfortable with where this was going.

“Two things,” he said. “First, ensure that your Lady reveals nothing about my membership in the Order. And secondly, agree to this: At some time in the future, I may require your assistance. I’m not sure in what capacity I will need you, nor how dangerous, but when I ask, I will need you to answer. I will provide for you a cover identity, a name, a background, for you to use in Barnstaple. For this to work, I will need you to…feed in the city, rather than here at the castle. You must draw attention from the manor if you are to remain here. Do you understand?”

“I do,” I said, the rage subsiding. “I am to be a spy.”

“In a sense, yes. Prey only on those who will not be missed, keep your ears to the ground for anything that might be useful to me and await my instructions.”

“I accept,” I said, reaching my ungloved, red hand to shake his. He looked upon it with disgust, and merely nodded.

And so, it appears that though I have lost my ability to consort with demons, I have made a deal with a devil of a different kind.

Chapter eight postmortem.

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

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