Week 6, Battling with Vampires
We left our heroes in Carlfax Abbey, in London, 1894, having just discovered what looks like the lair of a vampire. We telepath to Chris to come on over with some psilence grenades. He and Cantrel come over by cab, bringing both psilence and conventional grenades.
Alag whiles away the waiting time setting up triggers on the multiple veils that shroud the vampire's quarters and coffin, as well as the even dozen windows in the room. (This vampire appears to have taken up residence in the solarium, of all places.)
Chris and Cantrel join us, we mount the stairs and approach the door, weapons ready. Cantrel flings wide the door with a Knock spell. The veils go down and the windows burst open. A horrible scream comes from within.
Cantrel enters with a hit and roll. He sees the coffin, the lid now open. Daewen, Alag, Lorelei, and Tom pile in behind him. Cantrel blasts away at the coffin, shattering it. No body is revealed. "NO!!" shrieks a voice from the rafters. There follow some crunching noises and a heavy rafter beam hits Cantrel. Thrown, by the way, not dropped. The others glimpse a white figure flitting through the rafters.
Lorelei lobs a fragmentation grenade at it and misses, but blows a hole in the roof letting in more sunlight. Alag and Tom are slower in responding; their glimpse of the white thing in the rafters revealed a woman of literally stunning, if demonic, beauty.
Cantrel flips on his psilencer and Lorelei follows up her grenade with a squirt at venture with her holy-water-pistol. But the vampire has flitted out of sight and out of range. Cantrel crawls out from under the beam, battered but still able, and finishes off the coffin with a few more blaster bolts. Dirt flies and there's no coffin left to speak of. The smoldering fragments start small fires in the veils torn down earlier.
Cantrel's final shots went through where the coffin was and ignite the moldering door beyond. The scream of its hinges sounds almost alive. Suspecting glamour of some sort, Chris and Tom fire at the door. Chris follows with a shot enchanted to seek its target; this one veers to an area above the door.
The vampire now comes bursting through the remains of the door, talons first, and attacks Cantrel. She is faster than anything we've seen, except Whizzer at the top of his form. Lorelei squirts her with holy water, but to no visible effect. Alag shoots her with arrows and this obviously hurts. But meanwhile she has picked up Cantrel as if he were a rag doll and blocks further shots with him.
Alag gets one trick shot right through Cantrel's crotch into the vampire. Blocking Alag exposes her to Tom's fire, so he tries his ultraviolet laser. Meanwhile, Pfusand turns into a bear and starts sidling up for an attack. These developments rattle the vampire.
Cantrel, from his position firmly in her grasp, notes that the various weapons leave holes in her, although no blood flows (of course; she's dead). He fires point blank with his blaster. Hard.
She throws him away. He manages to "land" on the wall and fall to the floor in a battle-ready crouch. Meanwhile, Tom gives her a double blast with laser and with dart-gun. She keels over. It may have been the rowan-wood dart. [For the curious, we had to do over 110 points of damage in one round to make her fall over.]
Daewen, who has been poised and ready, instantly leaps in and decapitates her. Lorelei rushes in and, using her medical equipment, cuts out the vampire's heart, then burns it to ashes in the fireplace. She then stuffs the mouth of the severed head with garlic. Daewen, Chris, and Cantrel are grossed out by this, which amuses Tom, since they displayed no such queasiness over cutting the head off. As a finishing touch, Lorelei wraps Cantrel's crucifix (which he doesn't want) around the body. Chris shakes his head and goes back to killing the fires with alchemy and thermal TK.
We continue our exploration of the Abbey, though we devoutly hope we have seen the worst. We waste a few shots on the bats in the belfry before we realize they really are just bats. We finish the second floor around 2:00 PM with only the cellar left. (Wee.)
On our way down, Alag casts a clairvoyant glance outside and notes we're drawing a crowd: six bobbies and miscellaneous civilians.
We stop back at the vampire's room, where Lorelei turns up her shields and probes delicately at the ambiance. It's like a concentration of the general (disgusting) atmosphere of the Abbey, and NOT like the truly alarming signature of what we suspect was Dracula.
Meanwhile, two more cops and two toffs have showed up at the gate outside, chatting. Inspection reveals that one of the "toffs" is Professor Challenger. We levitate the assorted bits of vampire into the rafters she was so fond of and glamour the remains into invisibility.
We descend to the cellars and poke around, glamouring the door to appear shut behind us. Pfusand, currently in bear shape, goes first and promptly falls through the rotting steps. She is little hurt, though, and the rest of us descend more cautiously. We find four coffins, thoroughly broken up. Somewhere under the courtyard, we find a larger cache of coffins, also smashed. Near the front of the Abbey, we find a little room containing a small coffin and a few candelabra. This coffin is not the show-room-fresh affair the she-vampire had. It is poor-looking and seems to have been buried then disinterred.
Alag X-rays it and sees the body of a small boy, the tell-tale bite marks clear on his neck. Lorelei probes at him. The signature is unfamiliar, but clearly vampiric. Alag tears the cover off with TK and the boy stirs. But he doesn't leap into frantic, demonic activity as the she-vampire did. As a result, Cantrel, Daewen, and Tom are somewhat reluctant to slay what MAY be a helpless child with a terrible problem. Alag and Chris have no such reservations, though, and open fire.
After a bit, Daewen wonders if a mortal boy could have taken so much damage. Tom decides the best way to tell what the kid is, is to contact him telepathically. He does so and promptly faints. (Overwhelming impressions of pain and vampiric awfulness.)
This allows the others to finish the kid off in peace. Daewen cuts his head off and Lorelei cuts his heart out. ("She has the heart of a small child. She keeps it in her desk drawer.") The others, however, will not let her take the organ with her, so they reduce it to ashes with blaster-fire.
Pfusand, meanwhile, resumes human form and revives Tom, who is shaken but unharmed. Tom checks for more vampires by dowsing for them with his knack of Finding. Nothing. Good.
Challenger, meanwhile, has entered the abbey and is exploring the grounds in the company of the police. He has found the room where we fought the she-vampire and is investigating the scorch marks, etc., with a couple of friends from the Adventurers' Club, who stand by with guns. (Only silver bullets would help, fellows, and they aren't necessary now.)
We hide the little boy's body in the stonework of the ceiling, render ourselves invisible and inaudible, and sneak out, past the bobby in the kitchen examining the wolf's skeleton and the scratch marks on the slab in the floor.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.