A guy in nice suit knocks on Nightwatch’s door during the night. He is dressed in a nice suit and speaks very politely. Pretty much everyone except Warren looks at him and immediately identifies him as a vampire.. He says he heard about how our group handles difficult ‘problems’ and wanted our help. He also mentions the mission we just did as an example, which turns out to be related to his problem.
He says that an item was taken from him from the same ruins that his group was the original residents of before the cult came along and violently kicked them out. Warren asks if it was a vampire artifact because it came from the ruins, not realizing who he was talking to.. Guy is like, “…Yes”. Saewyn manages to communicate to Warren that he’s a vampire, and Warren is kind of freaked out for a second, but only until the guy mentions that magical fire is a weakness of vampires.
He says he’s from the Order of Blood and Mac and Warren make some knowledge rolls. It’s an open secret ‘secret society’ like the Stone Masons. Knights of Blood, Blood Knights, etc, is a society that is about masquerading as vampires. Warren and Mac suspect it is a front for real vampires, and the shitload of vampire posers in the society kind of serve to hide them into plain sight, and anyone that is in the know inside the society won’t say anything because they most likely respect and love the real vampires. The order is super benign, basically a renfair, but our knowledge rolls don’t pull up anything nefarious. They all dress up like movie vampires and act extra refined and elitest.
He mentions the people that took them out had had a weapon very effective against vampires, magical fire. The item taken was a Blood Stone. It allowed vamps to exist without drinking blood. They pride themselves on self preservation, and that includes not injuring nearby population (or their followers).
He also claims Nightwatch has a positive relationship with the blood order and has worked to help them maintain the cover. The Blood Stone doesn’t actually make blood, but gives energy to sustain vampire and makes sensations like feeding which he claims are pleasurable.
He was worried about a situation where it appears to be owned legitimately and would be considered stolen if we took it back. Some Insight rolls are made which suggests he has suspicions of someone who might have it that would fit this profile. Arcane rolls suggest that magical rituals could be used to subvert the magic to do undead related stuff. This item gives ‘life’ to a vampire and thus could be used to give ‘life’ to another undead in theory.
He offers 300 bucks and a magic arming sword. Mac haggles him up to 500. He leaves till the next day to let us talk it over, but gives us his name ‘Charles Gaulthier’ (knowledge rolls pull up nothing). Mac uses suggestion to cancel out Warren’s programming most generously, and Warren then proceeds to check over Cultist records and finds an entry that says the blood stone was moved to a safehouse. No dates or other info as it was just assumed to be known or not relevent when written, but it looked to be a few months old. They mentioned needing to find an expert to figure out stuff regarding the stone.
Hime sends out a telegraph that says basically the details of the encounter and asks if it’s true nightwatch worked with them. The reply that comes back mentions a few things. If gold does not meet expenses or is all taken by expenses in the future, we should let them know, but they suspect that will not be the case. Goodies are ours, especially if operation related. Argent also says do the right thing. If the blood stone is in the possession of foul characters, it’s okay to take it back. If not foul, do the right thing (try and get it on the up and up by paying for it or convincing them to give it over, or whatever). Argent beat around the bush to imply that Nightwatch may have worked with them at some time, insight says yeah probably but Argent isn’t happy to release such information.
When Charles comes back, Warren has Detect Magic up and ready as he requested Charles come back at a certain time, and cast Detect Magic shortly before that time. It shows that Charles’ ‘power level’ significantly higher than average humans, and has an aura of necromancy. Knowledge rolls tells Warren that undead would show that aura if they were strong enough.
He informs the group to be careful to not invite in vampires you don’t trust, it is difficult for them to enter generally if not invited. Says all vampires are different when asked for more info, possible for some to just be able to enter. As we find out later, that is a bunch of nonsense.
Nightwatch accepts the 500 offer, he says that will be difficult to pay, can pay 200 right away, rest has to be raised. Try to get the weapon upfront, but he says he’s unable to do that, although we can inspect if so desired at a place of their choosing. We accept without.
He mentions when the group fled, one of them took great risk to get the license plate of a vehicle belonging to the cultists, which he gives over. Not very many cars, so probably easy to track down.
To get in contact with him, we send mail to a given address. He shows a drawing of the bloodstone, looks like a jeweled teardrop, says color is red. Warren shows off a bit and uses minor conjuration to get his best approximation. He gives us 200 bucks in a coin pouch, and makes his way out.
Warren comes up with the less than brilliant plan to research the phonograph cards real quick before they head out, which starts an argument with Saewyn. Mac comes in in the middle of it, then walks out, hands the cards to Rico and tells him to get rid of them and send them to Nightwatch HQ.
The next day Warren realizes he’s missing his cards, and eventually finds out Mac was behind it. They get into an argument, where Warren apparently thinks the cards were his for some reason and is upset that his boss did something behind his back. He gets told basically that he was endangering himself and others by pushing this and something had to be done, and because of the level of arguing, he gets some fatigue work working on the shed.
The day after they make up, Mac says he’ll be upfront, Warren says he’ll try and listen more. Any insight will suggest that Warren was respecting the authority at that point… at the very least he didn’t want more work.
Juan comes down for more practice, and he’s asked about vampires. He says vampires have very different strengths. Some are resistant to fire even, some bullets. Some have an ability that allows them to resist sun some, but sunlight will often kill them. They are weak to any fire too, not just magical fire. This is also where we find out that the invite thing is a load of shit. It’s some kind of cultural thing the civilized vampires force on themselves, but feral vampires don’t give a shit and will just walk in. Also Wooden stake through the heart once down works really well. Once dead, they turn to dust.
Also they tend to have some but not all of the following superhuman estoteric powers. They can be faster, stronger, tougher, have better perceptions, and gaze type mind control is especially common. More experienced vamps tend to get stronger. Abilities are finite based on how sustained they are on blood.
Next up is the vehicle registration information. Charles had mentioned that the one clue he had was the license plate of a car involved in the incident.
Artigo we know we can get the vehicle info, but we decide to chance it and try to get the info from Campacino directly, most likely by getting the police department to wire and ask. We head down and this ends up working out and we save many hours of bumpy driving time
Mac gets the plate info by hitting up Vasquez for info and good fun and everyone else goes to Vernon to ask about blood stones.
Ada has nothing to really add though other than the probably obvious idea that a necromancer would be the one interested and able to use said stone. While there, Warren buys magic missile and ink to scribe it and we leave without having to piss off Vernon since our University app is not back yet.
Warren looks into registration records to find out about buildings owned by names on his contacts list the cultists had, to try and find a safehouse they might own. Rolled a 1 on his attempt for the day. Can roll again the next day. Goddamn the universe hates my dice.