This article originally appeared in Pyramid #8
Editor's Note: This is Part Two of an adventure that began in our last issue. It was originally written to be part of the new GURPS Vampire Companion (released at the same time as this issue of Pyramid), but was pulled because of space considerations. We won't go so far as to say you need the new Companion book to play this adventure, but it is recommended.
A Two-Part Adventure for GURPS Vampire
by Chris McCubbin
"Tervel's Haven" does not contain "official" source material for White Wolf's World of Darkness. The official world may have a very different political situation in Florida, where this adventure takes place.
Tervel's Haven is an adventure for three to six Camarilla vampires built on 300 to 500 points. It works best if the characters have some earned experience and have acquired a certain degree of Status or Reputation within the sect.
Our Story So Far
The characters have been contacted by Svetlana Goremykin, the prince of Tampa, to undertake a delicate mission. Tervel, an elder of clan Tzimisce, has expressed a desire to leave his homeland of Bulgaria and relocate to the U.S. Svetlana has agreed to give him sanctuary in Tampa, and has offered him the use of an underground haven beneath an old lighthouse that has been recently renovated for comfort and security. The PCs are to travel to Bulgaria, negotiate the terms of the move with Tervel, and oversee the transfer of whatever belongings he wishes to bring with him. Svetlana emphasizes that secrecy is of utmost importance in this mission; as an independent elder of great power, Tervel's arrival in America would upset the political balance, and draw the unfriendly attention of the Sabbat and other powerful Kindred.
With the help of Malilini, a Ravnos Elder who has been the greatest smuggler in the world for over 400 years, the party gets to Bulgaria undetected. After a harrowing night's climb to Tervel's mountaintop castle, the vampires must pass one more test before Tervel admits them to his home.
The Test of Valor and Wisdom
At last, with the first faint signs of a lightening of the Eastern sky, the weary hikers pass through the open portcullis of the castle, into the ancient dirt courtyard. However, they are not met by their ancient host, but instead by a small group of oversized, hairy figures crouched around a campfire. If the PCs know anything at all about the Garou, they will recognize the figures as werewolves in their fearsome Crinos form. There is one Lupine for each PC, plus one more. (The PCs may notice that the wolves which have been following them for the entire ascent are nowhere in sight -- good, let them notice.)
As the vampires enter the courtyard, the lupines rise to their hind legs, standing at their full height of 9' or more. They take defensive postures and utter faint growls of warning, but otherwise make no move towards the party.
If the vampires call out or speak to the Lupines, the white one starts to move towards them at a casual walk. As he approaches his gait changes and he seems to shrink within himself. By the time he stops about 10' from the emissaries he's fully human -- a powerful albino with bushy hair and moustache, wearing a loose pair of white trousers (see "Georgi," p. 18). The werewolf places his hands defiantly on his hips and says, "What you want here? This our place. Go away." If any of the vampires state that they are examining the castle, they may make a Vision roll. If successful, they see what may be an unmoving human figure standing behind one of the second-floor windows.
The Lupines are here as a test of the emissaries' nerve and powers of diplomacy. They will not attack unless the vampires attack first or they gratuitously threaten or insult the Garou (veiled threats and a superior attitude are fine, however -- the Lupines will be exuding the same).
If the PCs choose to completely ignore the Lupines and walk boldly up to the gate of the castle keep, the werewolves will not try to block their path. Georgi simply watches them pass, and as they go by his look of challenge changes to one of vaguely amused respect. When they knock at the gate, Tervel will answer promptly and admit them.
If they try to negotiate with the Lupines, Georgi remains intractable. He will answer no questions about Tervel and just repeat monosyllabic phrases like, "This our place." "You go away." "You not wan' make us mad," etc. However, if the vampires civilly request entry three times, Tervel will throw open the door to the keep, walk out to the courtyard and cry, "Welcome to my home. Please, enter and rest. And please forgive Georgi and his friends -- they are sometimes overly solicitous of my privacy." Then he will lead the vampires past the Lupines and into the castle.
If the vampires are foolish enough to attack or provoke the Garou, Tervel lets the brawl go on just long enough for the vampires to see that they have no hope of winning; then he makes his appearance in the courtyard. The lupines rather sullenly break off combat, shift into their fully-wolfen lupus forms, and bound off into the pre-dawn mist. Then the vampires can gather up their dead and wounded and follow Tervel into the keep.
In The Castle
The PC's stay with Tervel is almost pure roleplaying. Depending on the players' preferences, the GM could breeze through it in a few minutes, or turn it into a full gaming session or more as the vampires try to get at the person behind the facade of their ancient and enigmatic host.
Once Tervel has welcomed his guests, there will be little time for pleasantries. Dawn is breaking outside, and Tervel has just enough time to get the visitors settled for the night and make it to his own resting place. The guests will rest together in a single large room in the midst of the castle. Tervel holds to the rather archaic Tzimisce custom of vampires sleeping in coffins, and there is a comfortable, modern casket prepared for each visitor. The room is windowless with solid walls of mortared stone, and if a PC prefers to rest with the lid up, he may do so with no fear.
The Second Night
The next night Tervel greets the emissaries curtly when they emerge from their chamber, then takes them down to the ancient dungeons of the castle, which currently house several vessels. He urges the vampires to feed until their strength is fully replenished. Each following night of the guests' stay there will be sufficient sustenance to be had in the dungeon. If his guests express any qualms about killing the prey, Tervel will shrug philosophically and promise to wipe the kine's memories and release them alive when the visitors leave.
Once his guests have fed, Tervel wants to see the plans for his new home. He has many questions about its modern conveniences. While he knows of and understands concepts like electric lights, television, washing machines and even computerized digital locks, his knowledge is mostly academic -- he's never used such things himself, but he's read of them and seen them in the homes of his prey. (The castle itself is lit by hundreds of ensconced candles and oil lamps, and no matter how early the PCs rise, they never catch Tervel or anybody else lighting them.)
After several hours of questions, Tervel pronounces the proposed accommodations adequate, and agrees to Svetlana's terms of sole possession of the lighthouse, with a fallback refuge in the Prince's haven and the freedom to establish whatever other emergency havens he may deem necessary.
He also reaffirms his promise to respect the Masquerade and support Svetlana in case of attack.
The Third Night
Tervel takes the PCs around the castle, showing them those objects which he has determined he must take with them to the States. The list is surprisingly short. Tervel indicates each item only once and will expect the PCs to remember it. They will be well advised to take notes.
Tervel tells the stories of a few of the ancient knick-knacks around his home, and that telling reveals as much as the PCs will probably ever know about the young man he once was.
"This is the armor my father wore when he fought the armies of Constantinople as a boy. He promised it to me, but when he died my brother claimed it for his own. You can see who has it today."
"Emperor Constantine Copronymus gave me this dagger with his own hand after I fought with him against the Arabs. That was the first time I went to war."
One highly bizarre artifact is a human skull lined with silver on the inside. It occupies a place of particular honor in the grand hall, and Tervel will be almost eager to show it to the emissaries. "This is the skull of the Emperor Nicephorus, which my kinsman Krum made into a drinking cup after he slew the tyrant. I aided Krum in that campaign -- that was the last time I took an active part in the politics of my people."
About most of the items, however, Tervel is characteristically closed-lipped, evading or flat-out refusing to answer any questions.
Tervel's tour lasts less than half the night. When it's over he announces that the emissaries' assignment for rest of that night and the next is to go through the castle, cataloging Tervel's remaining possessions, and making a list of which ones can go to the States, and which must be left behind. Tervel cautions them against trying to enter any locked rooms, or open any sealed containers. (If they ignore this warning, they will face Tervel's displeasure, in addition to any nasty surprises the GM's ingenuity can contrive.) He also tells them that he will be "Otherwise occupied for a brief time," and suggests they not wait for him to appear before resuming their work on the next night. He takes his leave.
The Fourth Night
On the fourth night the PCs don't see Tervel at all. If they work diligently they are able to finish their assignment before dawn.
The Fifth Night
On the fifth night Tervel is waiting for the PCs when they arise. He goes over their catalog with them, pointing out certain additional items he would prefer to take, and other items which can be left behind in their place.
Once again, the meeting takes less than the whole night. Tervel suggests that his guests relax for the remainder of the night, then takes his leave and is not seen again that evening. If the vampires wish, they may wander out over the mountain, though they do not have time to go all the way down the mountain for a hunt and back. If they leave the castle they will see no humans, and no lupines, Moonsinger or any other mystical beings either.
The Sixth Night
When they rise on the sixth night of the visit, they find Tervel waiting for them, and one other surprising visitor -- the albino leader of the Garou, in human form, wearing slacks and a heavy sweater. Georgi is introduced to the emissaries, and they find that his English, while still heavily accented, has "miraculously" dramatically improved itself during the last week. If the Garou and the vampires fought on the night of the tests, Georgi makes no mention of that battle, and waves off any other attempts to do so.
Georgi will handle himself well, but sensitive characters will be able to detect a faint tension in his conversation -- the same air that a professional diplomat or businessman gets when trying to be friendly with someone he neither likes nor trusts. Tervel is as distant and impersonal with Georgi as he is with everyone else.
Tervel announces that the PCs' services will not be required after tonight. There will be plenty of time for one of the vampires to make it down the trail to a phone to call Malilini and back again, but Georgi also offers to make the call for them before dawn breaks. If they accept his offer, he will fulfill it faithfully.
The emissaries also finally learn the exact nature of the accord between Tervel and the Lupines. It seems that Tervel has promised that when he leaves, the Shadow Lords may take possession of the castle, with all its enchantments intact, and the Moonsinger still in residence. In return, Tervel is asking only that the werewolf pack help him move his belongings. The Shadow Lords will be in charge of packing up Tervel's belongings and carting them down the mountain for shipment. Although he is obviously getting a deal which is fantastically in his favor, Georgi will still be visibly irritated by any cracks about him or his people "serving" or "laboring" for Tervel.
Very early in the evening Tervel will take at least one of the emissaries aside, and caution them not to mention the state or city of their origin in Georgi's presence.
Most of the night passes with Tervel, Georgi and the American vampires discussing the requirements of packing, shipping and unpacking the various items selected for transfer.
Georgi leaves about three hours before dawn. Before he leaves he gives the Americans the number for his voice answering machine, and also his fax/modem number. However, he cautions them about discussing their business too freely over the phone.
The Seventh Night
Nothing happens to prevent the vampires from leaving the castle in plenty of time to make it down the mountain by midnight. Tervel does not make an appearance until his guests are packed and actually on their way out the door. Then he comes out and wishes them a good journey.
Beneath the mountain, Malilini is waiting with her old army truck. The travelers are driven back to Sofia, packed up and shipped back to the states, where they arrive safely three nights later.
Tervel's AttitudeAlthough Tervel is unfailingly polite to the PCs, he's also distant and a bit imperious. He displays no emotion, and tends to behave as though whatever task is before him is a tedious chore, not even important enough to become irritated about. He does not demand respect from the PCs -- sarcasm, annoyance, even outright insults will be coolly ignored. However his requests are issued with the calm certainty that they will be followed without question and to the letter.
The only thing short of physical attack that can make him visibly angry is a violation of his hospitality; most notably entering any place in the castle where Tervel has not specifically invited them to go. His instructions to his guests are that they may enter any unlocked room, but they must make no attempt whatsoever to enter or open any room or container that has been locked, barred and sealed. While they have the freedom of most of the castle, there are numerous chambers, boxes and chests which are sealed.
If the emissaries violate a forbidden place or thing, Tervel takes no overt action against them, but he will avoid speaking to the offending parties and his eyes will flash when he looks at them. The offender will find he sees Tervel more and more often during the night, usually just watching him, silently. It's an unnerving experience.
The PCs should not be so foolish as to violate Tervel's privacy a second time. If they do, the consequences should be extreme.
If asked about the gauntlet of tests that the visitors underwent on their way to the castle, Tervel will simply express regret that their journey was so trying. He will neither confirm or deny that he arranged any of the tests, even if asked directly. And, of course, he offers no clue whatsoever how the various tests might have been arranged.
If he is asked why he is travelling to the U.S., he will (surprisingly) provide an answer, although a gnomic one. "The void to the North is growing. I think it will devour itself, but I cannot say when. In the meantime, it is better to be far away." He will not explain what he means about "the void to the North."
The group will spend the next several weeks preparing for the arrival of Tervel himself in Tampa. Like the previous section, this is a pure roleplaying situation -- if the players prefer a steady diet of action and suspense, the GM can pass over this section in a few minutes. On the other hand, if the players are the sort who like to plan, tinker and design the GM can allow them to go into great detail about how they prepare the lighthouse -- roleplaying in detail matters like what goes where, which room will serve what function and how the vampires arrange for various necessary amenities like carpeting, painting and paneling without compromising the security of the project.
A few days after they return to Tampa, Tervel's goods will start arriving. Each shipments' journey begins with Georgi's Shadow Lords pack carting them down the mountain, where Malilini picks them up and ships them by air to Tampa. Once they arrive in Florida, it is the PCs' responsibility to see that they are safely ensconced in Tervel's haven. Once all the equipment is ready, Tervel himself will make the journey. In addition to all the personal belongings which he selected for shipment, Tervel will also ship a full half-ton of Bulgarian soil, in large industrial containers.
Georgi and Malilini will stay in regular communication with Tampa, via fax. About five weeks after the vampire's return from Bulgaria a message will arrive from Malilini:
Tonight's shipment is the last one. Still waiting for word from T. re. his trip -- M.
A couple days later they will receive a message from Georgi:
We are in possession of the property. After tonight this number will no longer be in service. G.T.
Sure enough, any subsequent attempts to contact the Shadow Lords electronically will fail.
Two days later there is still no word from Tervel himself, when Svetlana contacts the PCs. "I just received a package from Bulgaria. Inside the shipping box was another package addressed to you."
When the PCs arrive they will find a simple, sturdy cardboard mailing tube about 4' long and 6" in diameter. An envelope with their names on it is taped to the tube. Inside the envelope is a note written in a precise and rather ornate hand with an old-fashioned fountain pen. It reads:
In a safe place, unscrew the head and remove the object therein. Place it on the floor in an open area and step away.
Inside the tube, packed with tissue paper, is Tervel's walking stick. The PCs will find that they can unscrew the head, and when they do so a small cut stone -- a garnet -- will fall out of the hollow place within. Svetlana will lead them to a small, empty conference room and lock the door behind them. When they place the garnet on the floor and move at least 3' away, Tervel himself will appear standing before them. Rather than entrust himself to Malilini's care, he had himself shipped to the U.S. in Bauble form (see GURPS Vampire Companion, p. 119).
While Tervel and a rather flustered Svetlana exchange pleasantries, Svetlana sends Diaz (or, if the GM wishes, the PCs) out to procure refreshment for Tervel. When a suitable vessel is found, brought and drained, and Tervel has replenished himself from his journey, he will express a desire to see his new home.
Welcome WagonTervel has been betrayed! Malilini has informed the Sabbat of Miami about the arrival of the Tzimisce elder in Florida. See "Betrayal," below
The Sabbat has called a Blood Hunt against Tervel. At least 40 Sabbat have been dispatched to Tampa to hunt the Methuselah. Normally the goal of a Blood Hunt is to drink the vitae of the subject, but the Sabbat is well aware that a Tzimisce of Tervel's generation is very likely to have the Blood of Acid power, so they have set as the formal goal of this Blood Hunt the taking of Tervel's walking stick. Of course, the true goal is to humiliate, injure and if possible destroy Tervel.
The Parking Garage
The first wave of Sabbat attackers will strike as soon as Svetlana, Diaz, Tervel and the PCs leave Svetlana's haven. They have set up an ambush in the parking garage where Svetlana keeps her vehicles. This force is somewhat larger than most of the others (6 to 8 Sabbat), and better trained than average (perhaps Black Hand). Their tactics are no-nonsense and effective. They have spread out around the garage and hidden themselves behind and under vehicles. When their target and his companions enter the garage, the Sabbat will wait until they are both exposed and surrounded, then attack from all directions at once. They will attack until the last vampire among them is destroyed.
Diaz will be at the forefront of this battle, using his pistol and hand-to-hand skills to devastating effect. Svetlana is unarmed, and will be able to take only limited action, but she will use her Fortitude and Wolf's Claws powers, and if pressed might even take on wolf form. Tervel will stay back from the battle as much as possible, and will avoid using his most powerful disciplines -- he will let the others bear the brunt of his defense.
By the time the battle is over, Svetlana will have figured out the situation -- or most of it. "Those were Sabbat, and there's probably more of them on their way. Master Tervel, they can't possibly know you're here, so they must be after me or one of my primogen." Then, to the PCs, "Diaz and I will take the limo and try to draw them away from you. You take Tervel and get him to the lighthouse."
In the meantime, Diaz will make a quick call on the limo's car phone (for reinforcements), then open the trunk. He'll extract a sawed-off assault shotgun, which he gives to Svetlana, and two Uzis, which he'll keep for himself. If the GM feels the PCs are under-armed for the circumstances, he can have Diaz present them with a few extra weapons.
The PCs and Tervel will pile into a mini-van and hastily exit the garage. Behind them, as they leave, they can hear the shouts, screams and gunshots resume as Svetlana and her forces encounter another wave of Sabbat.
Unfortunately, Svetlana is wrong. The Sabbat does know about Tervel, and he is the sole target of their Blood Hunt. Tervel and his guardians will be assaulted several more times before they reach the lighthouse.
The GM may use as many of the encounters below as he finds appropriate.
Most of the battles between Svetlana's haven and the lighthouse will be with slightly fewer and less motivated Sabbat. The war parties will number 4 to 6, and if half of their number or more are destroyed they will flee the battle.
As his guardians are weakened by successive attacks, Tervel will become more and more active in his own defense, using more and more powerful disciplines. Even his strength, however, is not infinite, and the GM should keep careful track of the Fatigue and Blood Points he's expended.
This is a good way to get the fugitives out of their mini-van and back on foot. Some Sabbat have set up an ambush by putting one of their number up on an overpass with a LAW rocket launcher. Fortunately, the explosive is not fired directly at the van, but instead at the road directly in front of the van, producing a violent explosion and an impassable hole in the pavement. When the rocket goes off, the driver of the van must immediately make a check vs. Rötschreck and a Driving roll. If either one is failed, the van swerves wildly and crashes into the front of a closed clothing store. Everyone in the van must make a DX roll or take 1d non-aggravated crushing damage from the wreck. On a roll of 6 on 1d, the gas tank catches fire and the engine will explode 2d seconds after the accident, filling 10 hexes with a 6d fireball. If both rolls are made, the driver brings the van to a safe stop in the middle of the road, a few feet short of the new crater.
Whether or not the van crashes, as soon as it comes to a stop the rest of the Sabbat war party descends on their targets. If the van crashed, the Sabbat attack as the occupants stagger out of the wrecked vehicle; otherwise they attack the van itself, smashing windows and pulling open doors to get at Tervel.
Once the Sabbat have been destroyed or driven off, the vampires will probably want to steal or commandeer another vehicle, but they'll be on foot until they find one.
This war party attacks while Tervel and his escorts are on foot. They're all on skateboards or wearing in-line skates, and their Move is tripled for purposes of linear movement only. They will circle the group, slashing at them with knives, crow bars and other hand-to-hand weapons.
If the vampires get a new car and make it out of the city, this is another way to get them back on foot. This war party is driving a beat-up old station wagon and they'll stop at nothing to run the PCs off the road, crashing both vehicles if necessary. They do have at least a few firearms, and they make a couple of passes taking pot-shots at their targets before they get serious about wrecking the car. The driver of the station wagon has a Driving skill of 13, and the wagon has a top speed of 110.
This is a nomad pack of Sabbat bikers, and they are good on their bikes -- average Motorcycle skill of 15. They are one of the better-armed war parties, with all members carrying both a hand-to-hand weapon and a firearm.
If the fugitives are in a car, the bikers will try to take out the tires, using bullets or possibly more exotic weapons like pitchforks or Marine-issue sabers. If the targets are on foot, the Bikers will circle and attack in passing. The motorcycles have excellent off-road capacity, so taking to the countryside will not necessarily guarantee the fugitive's safety from this group.
This pack has found some good-quality riding horses somewhere, and attacks the targets from horseback (obviously, this encounter works best if the vampires are on foot). They have improvised pseudo-medieval weapons -- swords, flails, axes, perhaps even a lance or spear. The Sabbat have an average Riding skill of 12.
As the vampires make their way towards the lighthouse, they hear a strange buzzing noise overhead. When they look up they see several Sabbat swooping down on them from the air.
This pack has somehow gotten hold of some experimental, backpack-sized personal helicopters. Each helicopter weighs 100 lbs. and has a maximum speed of 70 MPH.
Although their appearance is unexpected, this pack is probably actually the least dangerous of all the Sabbat groups to assault the PCs. The tiny copters are difficult to control, and their pilots are not very experienced in their operation -- taken together, these two factors give the Sabbat pilots a Piloting skill roll of no more than 10. Since they have to make a Pilot roll every time they attack or make any sort of combat maneuver, they're quite likely to literally crash and burn before they do any serious damage to the fugitives. It's liable to be a rather spectacular battle, if not a particularly dangerous one for the defenders.
Safe at Last?When the PCs have had as many battles as the GM feels they can take, he may read them the following (note that if the group decides to make for a destination other than the lighthouse, the adventure will still end as below, with the PCs and Tervel cornered -- just omit all references to the lighthouse from the description of the events).
At last you reach the lighthouse. But as you sprint down the dirt road towards the old tower and safety, vague figures detach themselves from the shadows and form up at the door to your haven -- a Sabbat pack has beat you to safety.
You turn around, looking for a good tactical fallback position, and see that another pack has somehow managed to get behind you. Then you spot a movement out of the corner of your eye to your right -- another enemy pack! And another to your left! You're completely surrounded!
Enter Lucian, Stage Left
The GM should allow the PCs a few moments to prepare for their last stand as the remaining Sabbat slowly, methodically converge on their position. Then, when they're all set for the final battle, read the following.
Suddenly, you hear the roar of a heavy engine approaching at high speed. A massive utility truck rounds the corner into view, and the Sabbat approaching from that direction scramble wildly to get out of its path. You are not sure that all of them succeed. Is this how the enemy has decided to administer the coup de grace? To run you down like errant possums?
At the last possible moment, however, the truck screeches to a halt mere feet in front of you, and immediately figures begin to leap down from the bed. The sound of semi-automatic weapons fire fills the night air, but the bullets do not fly in your direction. Instead, the newcomers seem to be attacking the Sabbat.
One group of rescuers hurries over to you and surrounds your group. You see that your saviors are Kindred, not kine. They lead you rapidly to the door of the lighthouse, clearing the enemy from your path with controlled bursts from their assault rifles. Somebody manages to unlock the door and you, Tervel and the rescue party tumble into the relative safety of the house. Behind you your rescuers seem to be carrying the engagement with their disciplined tactics and superior firepower, despite being outnumbered.
Somebody else quickly manages to key the remote control unit which activates the trapdoor, and you hurry down to the bullet-proof confines of the inner sanctum.
When you reach safety, Tervel turns to your rescuer and says, solemnly, "Lucian, I am in your debt."
You have been rescued by the notorious Camarilla outcast Lucian (if nobody in the party has previously encountered or heard of Lucian, a successful roll vs. Hidden Lore: Camarilla will allow a PC to remember something of Lucian's reputation), and his mercenary anarchs. Lucian acknowledges Tervel's thanks solemnly. He ignores the PCs as much as possible.
Once he is in the inner haven, Tervel will seemingly forget all about the firefight being conducted overhead for his benefit, and quietly ask the PCs to show him around his new quarters. During the tour, one of Lucian's troops will enter and report that the area has been scoured of Sabbat, with no losses on Lucian's side. With the area secure, the PCs can also take Tervel up to the tower. There he will stare silently out over the peaceful bay for a long time before speaking. "I think this would have been a pleasant place to tarry. It is a pity I cannot stay."
He will then face the PCs and say, with all the solemnity of a head of state formally announcing a national disaster, "Unfortunately, since it is obvious that my enemies know that I am here, it will of course be impossible for me to remain. You may thank your gracious prince for her offer of hospitality, and assure her that I hold her blameless in this ill turn of fate.
"I will be leaving before dawn with Lucian and his people. I will take a few things with me, and I charge you to see to the safety of the rest. I will send for it soon.
"As for yourselves, you have fought bravely on my behalf tonight, and I will not forget it. Perhaps I may someday render you a service in return."
With that Tervel will quietly go downstairs to pack. Lucian's people will not offer any threat or insult to the Camarilla vampires, but they will watch them closely, and will not permit them to use the phone or leave the area until Tervel and the anarchs are gone.
A few minutes after Lucian and Tervel leave (still several hours before dawn), a tired and rather battered-looking Svetlana will pull up in front of the lighthouse, and the PCs will have the honor of informing her of the eventful night's happenings.
- 2 points for making it through all of Tervel's tests and getting to the castle by dawn. Only 1 point if the PC has to be rescued by Tervel.
- 0 to 2 points for the stay at the castle and the preparation for Tervel's arrival in the states, depending on how much time and effort the players put into roleplaying these sections of the adventure.
- 1 point for each Sabbat war party fought off, +1 if Tervel makes it to the lighthouse alive and conscious.
Loose EndsBelow are some ideas for further scenarios based on the characters and concepts in "Tervel's Haven."
Suspicion: When a vampire prince like Svetlana receives a setback like the one at the end of this adventure, there's really only one conceivable response to it -- find out who's responsible, and make them pay. And in her rage, Svetlana might not be overly picky about legalistic trivia like making absolutely sure that the targets of her revenge really are guilty. The PCs are, of course, extremely attractive subjects -- largely because they're within reach.
At the best, the PCs can probably look forward to several days of guarded house arrest while Svetlana checks their alibis. At the worst, they might face an extended period of imprisonment and torture before they get a chance to escape.
Either way, the GM can make it the responsibility of the PCs to prove their own innocence by finding out who really did do it. In addition to Malilini and themselves, the other likely suspects include Georgi and the Shadow Lords (the mere fact that they're werewolves is enough grounds for suspicion to most Kindred) and Lucian (he tipped off the Sabbat so that he could make the Camarilla look bad and earn Tervel's gratitude). Neither of these parties will take kindly to any such accusations or demands that they defend themselves from them.
(By the way -- once the PCs are cleared of treachery, Svetlana, technically, still owes them her full promised debt of Prestation. Of course, it might be less than prudent to press that claim too hard.)
Malilini's Treachery: Once it is known that Malilini is the culprit, Svetlana will, of course, want her head. The PCs are the logical front men (and perhaps hit men) in the search for the wily Ravnos.
Tervel: The other princes in the Camarilla will be less than thrilled with the knowledge that a powerful, non-aligned elder like Tervel is at large and completely unwatched somewhere in the U.S. They might well command the PCs to discover the new whereabouts of their former charge. Alternately, another powerful elder Tzimisce might show up from Eastern Europe with an important message for Tervel -- when Tervel can't be found, this ancient will have the power to demand that he be found, immediately.
The Castle: Another aspect of the whole affair which the leaders of the Camarilla will find less than delightful is Tervel's act of handing over his impenetrable, magickal castle to the Lupines. Of course, while Tervel was under Camarilla protection, they were honor-bound to lump it and respect his wishes, but now that Tervel has nullified the agreement between Svetlana and himself, some powerful elements in the Camarilla will certainly cast a greedy eye towards the ancient castle and its contents.
Now let's see, who would be a good choice to act as advance scouts in an operation to retake the castle, earning the deadly enmity of the Shadow Lords and possibly drawing the wrath of Tervel himself, in the unlikely event that they survive at all? Hmmm...
Tervel's Promise: As mentioned before, Tervel is scrupulous about keeping his word, but he is also demonically literal about it. For example, he promises to pay back the PCs for their efforts in his defense, but he will not give them any specific instructions about how they can contact him in time of need.
This makes Tervel a wonderful deus ex machina for the GM. If the PCs have gotten themselves into something that they absolutely cannot get out of on their own, Tervel can come in and save their bacon. If the GM needs a way to begin a given scenario, Tervel can show up with an "interesting opportunity" for the party.
And, best of all, the GM need never worry how Tervel knew how to find the vampires or that they were in need -- he's a elder, they just know things.
Lucian & His Anarchs
Lucian and his Cainite shock troops are described in full on pp. 151-153 of GURPS Vampire.
If Lucian has alrady been encountered and destroyed in the campaign, the GM may simply adopt a new name for Tervel's rescuer. Perhaps a vampire formerly in Lucian's service has chosen to carry on in Lucian's tradition after the commander was destroyed. Or maybe Lucian was never really as destroyed as he seemed.
On some reflection it should be obvious to the PCs that Tervel arranged for Lucian to be standing by on the night of his arrival, long before he ever left Bulgaria, just in case some unforeseen treachery or emergency soured the deal with Svetlana. This sort of belt-and-suspenders foresight is one of the reasons elders like Tervel can stay around for 1,200 years or more.
The LupinesThere has been a Shadow Lord pack in the Kzanluk region since before the Bulgars came -- at least three centuries before Tervel was even born, and perhaps much longer. These Shadow Lords are the direct physical ancestors of Georgi and his modern pack.
Any open animosity between Tervel and the Shadow Lords was settled centuries ago. By mutual unspoken agreement Tervel leaves the Lupines alone, and they stay away from his castle.
Many of the Garou leaders down through the centuries have actually felt a certain gratitude towards Tervel -- his presence has kept the area free of younger and more aggressive vampires. Nonetheless, if given their free choice in the matter, they would really prefer that the Tzimisce elder dwell on somebody else's hunting ground.
However, while Tervel himself makes them uneasy, the Lupines are not disquieted at all by Tervel's castle or its magic. They say that this is because Tervel has protected his haven with the powers of nature, not the magic of vampires, demons or any other manifestation of that evil which the Garou call "The Wyrm."
The Garou have a particular awe of the Moonsinger (from Part One of this adventure). They consider this creature sacred and will not willingly attack it or disobey it.
GM's Note: Full descriptions of the Shadow Lords in GURPS Werewolf terms are given below; however it is not necessary for GMs who don't have that book to understand every term below. It is probably enough to know that Crinos form werewolves are bipedal, almost 10' high, and their claws do aggravated impaling damage appropriate to their superhuman strength.
GeorgiHomid Philodox of the Shadow Lords
Age 53, 5'8", 150 lbs.; white hair and red eyes
ST 12, DX 13, IQ 13, HT 11.
Basic Speed 6, Move 7.5
Rage 11, Gnosis 17
Dodge 7, Parry 9 (Brawling), Parry 8 (Knife)
DR 1, no encumbrance
Advantages: Appearance (Attractive), Charisma +2, Pure Bred 3, Reputation 4, Status 3, Toughness +1, Voice, Werewolf Template.
Disadvantages: Albino, Code of Honor (Code of Wisdom), Glory Hound, Greed.
Quirks: Technophile, Progressive.
Skills: Animal Handling-13, Bard-16, Bardic Lore -- 13, Bicycle-13, Brawling-16, Camouflage-13, Carousing-13, Carpentry-14, Climbing-14, Diplomacy-14, Driving-12, Enigmas-14, First Aid-13, Fishing-13, Gambling-14, Guns-15, Intimidation-13, Jumping-12, Knife-14, Language (Bulgarian)-13, Language (English)-12, Language (Garou)-13, Leadership-15, Merchant-12, Politics-14, Running-12, Savoir-Faire-15, Sex Appeal-14, Singing-14, Stealth-14, Survival-15, Swimming-13, Tactics-12, Teaching-12, Tracking-14, Traps-13, Whip-14, Woodworking-12, +35 points divided up as the GM sees fit between the 12 howls.
Gifts: Aura of Confidence, Call to Duty, Clap of Thunder, Disquiet, Fatal Flaw, Icy Chill of Despair, Jam Technology, Luna's Armor, Paralyzing Stare, Persuasion, Resist Pain, Scent of True Form, Strength of Purpose, Truth of Gaia, Weak Arm, Wisdom of the Ancient Ways.
Georgi (Crinos form)
8' 8", 600 lbs.
ST 22, DX 16, IQ 13, HT 11/19
Basic Speed 6.75, 7.875
Dodge 7, Parry (Brawling) 10
DR 1 (3 vs. crushing damage), no encumbrance
Advantages: As above plus Claws/Talons, the Delirium, Fangs (impaling), Increased Density ¥2, Longer Arms (+1 hex reach), Penetrating Call.
Disadvantages: As above plus Appearance (Ugly), Bloodlust, Inconvenient Size (larger), Stuttering.
Skills: As above except +3 to all DX-based physical skills, -8 to Diplomacy.
Georgi Tsankov is the shaman and Pack Leader of the garou of the Kzanluk region. He works as a carpenter in Khisarya. Despite his albinism he is a powerful and robust man with a booming voice. He looks like nothing so much as the ghost of some ancient Bulgar warlord.
Georgi is an effective leader of his pack, and they will willingly follow him to the death. He is extremely ambitious, and not above twisting a tradition or two for his own advancement -- but never to the point where doing so might endanger the Pack.
His intention for Tervel's haven is to make it nothing short of an international headquarters and refuge for all Shadow Lords. He fully expects this to, in time, make him leader of the entire tribe. The practicality and eventual success of these plans are, of course, entirely up to the GM.
Georgi has used the Rite of Talisman Dedication to bind a pair of loose trousers to himself, so that when he changes to homid form, he will not be naked... which he considers undignified.
Lupine PackHomid Ahroun of the Shadow Lords
Age 20, 5'10", 155 lbs., black hair and brown eyes
ST 13, DX 13, IQ 10, HT 14
Speed 6.75, Move 7.5
Rage 10, Gnosis 10
Dodge 7, Parry 8 (Brawling), Parry 8 (Knife)
DR 1, no encumbrance
Advantages: High Pain Threshold, Reputation 1, Status 2, Toughness +1, Werewolf Template.
Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Code of Glory), Glory Hound.
Skills: Brawling-15, Camouflage-11, Climbing-13, Guns-12, Intimidation-12, Jumping-12, Knife-14, Language Garou-10, Running-12, Stealth-14, Survival-15, Swimming-13, Tracking-14, Traps-13, Whip-14
+15 points divided up as the GM sees fit between the 12 howls.
Gifts: Persuasion, Razor Claws, Aura of Confidence.
Lupine Pack (Crinos Form)
8' 10", 620 lbs.
ST 23, DX 16, IQ 10, HT 14/20
Speed 7.5, Move 8.875
Dodge 8, Parry 10 (Brawling)
DR 1 (3 vs. Crushing attacks), no encumbrance
Advantages, Disadvantages and Skills: See "Georgi (Crinos Form)" above.
These are a few of the best warriors of Georgi's pack, hand-picked to participate in Tervel's test of the PCs. It is extremely unlikely that the PCs will see them in any form other than Crinos or Lupus. They are well-disciplined, and will not attack until Georgi gives the word, but if it does come down to a fight they will cheerfully and literally rip the PCs to shreds.
Malilini was the one who betrayed Tervel to the Sabbat. It was her intention all along to do so. She even anticipated Tervel's ruse of shipping himself separately as a Bauble, and traced his movements in that form.
She did so because, as a loyal follower of the Path of Paradox (see GURPS Vampire Companion, p. 57), she felt it would be an excellent way to stir up some chaos and release some serious weig back into the Vortex. That's it. There's no other hidden agenda or hope of personal gain involved -- Malilini has thrown away all the benefits of 400 years of professional criminal activity, simply because it seemed like the very last thing she'd ever do. It's a paradox. Get it?
When looked at from the highly peculiar perspective of the Path of Paradox, Malilini's action accomplishes several highly desirable goals:
- By throwing away everything she's ever done -- her whole career as a smuggler -- she's asserting her control over her personal reality, rather than letting that reality control her.
- By provoking open hostilities between the Camarilla and the Sabbat, she's bringing the Day of Flux closer while simultaneously increasing the general level of chaos.
- As a 5th generation Methuselah, Tervel is a walking warehouse of 100% pure, USDA-approved concentrated weig, just waiting there for the antediluvians to use on the Day of Flux. If he's destroyed, all that lovely weig goes winging straight back to the vortex (oh well, two out of three ain't bad).
Of course, Malilini is no fool. She realizes that her existence as "Malilini the master smuggler" is over forever. After this trick she'll have not only the Camarilla but also (and this is probably more intimidating to her) Tervel himself on her case. Come to think of it, the other Old-Country Tzimisce and even the Inconnu probably won't be especially thrilled about her continued existence either.
What she does to cover her tracks after the deed is done is up to the GM. She might just go underground as an ordinary member of a typical band of Ravnos, she might go into Torpor for a few centuries, until the heat's off -- she might even know a Ravnos Elder with the power to send her to a nice, safe Pocket Reality (see GURPS Vampire Companion, p. 102) to lie low for awhile.
Sabbat BloodhuntersWhen Malilini delivered the date of Tervel's arrival to the Sabbat of Miami, they immediately began planning their Blood Hunt, calling in all available nomad packs and even flying extra braves down from the north.
The night before Tervel's arrival, they convoyed up from Miami to a staging area prepared in one of the small towns between the two cities, about 100 miles from Tampa, where they spent the day under the watchful gaze of their guardian ghouls. At dusk the next night, they left the staging area team by team at 10-minute intervals (drawing lots to determine who leaves first). Once on the way to Tampa, they were completely free to pursue any tactics they might desire.
Below are 10 sample Sabbat characters which the GM can mix and match to come up with the various war parties that threaten the PCs during the flight to the lighthouse.
Only combat-related stats are listed, along with some notes on their war party tactics. The GM will have to flesh out the characters before they can be roleplayed in a non-violent context. No disadvantages are listed because the Sabbat has few vampires with combat-significant disadvantages, and they probably wouldn't be sent out on a War Party. All the characters below have the Vampire Template and their characteristic clan disadvantages, of course. All parries listed below are for unarmed combat. The GM is free to arm the Sabbat as he sees fit -- and to add the skill to use that weapon to the template. If the GM feels a Vinculum roll is called for, he may roll against a generic Vinculum of 12.
No more than about one in three of the attacking Sabbat will be carrying firearms, and they will reserve them for defensive use -- to return fire from the PCs or cover a retreat. It is a condition of the Blood Hunt that the prize be won primarily through hand-to-hand combat.
There are no templates given for Toreador antitribu, Tremere antitribu or Serpents of the Light braves. These clans are seldom seen on Blood Hunts, and so are left out for reasons of space. However, the GM is free to design and insert them if he wishes.
Assamite Antitribu Chief
ST 12, DX 13, IQ 11, HT 14
Speed 6.75, Move 6
Blood Pool 18, Path Rating 16
Dodge 7, Parry 11
Advantages: Black Hand Membership 2, Combat Reflexes, Generation (10th), High Pain Threshold, Toughness 2.
Skills: Camouflage 13, Gun 16, Karate 15, Knife 17, Leadership 14, Stealth 16, Tactics 13.
Disciplines: Celerity (Power 4), Obfuscate (Power 5), Cloak of Shadows 12, Unseen Presence 12, Mask of the Thousand Faces 12, Vanish from Mind's Eye 13, Cloak of the Gathering 12, Quietus (Power 5), Silence of Death 12, Weakness 12, Infirmity 12, Blood Agony 12, Taste of Death 13.
This is a true Sabbat -- he cares about nothing whatsoever except the honor of the sect, and success in the Blood Hunt. His war parties will be disciplined, with deadly, no-nonsense tactics. He will never retreat, even if the battle is hopeless. However, if he is taken out the rest of the war party might well crumble and scatter.
Brujah Antitribu Brave
ST 12, DX 12, IQ 12, HT 12
Speed 6, Move 6
Blood Pool 12, Path Rating 13
Dodge 6, Parry 7
Advantages: Toughness 1
Skills: Brawling 14, Guns 15, Stealth 13.
Disciplines: Celerity (Power 2), Potence (Power 3), Presence (Power 2), Awe 13, Dread Gaze 13.
This Brujah is a good soldier of the Sabbat. He's a team player, putting the success of his party above his own safety. He will gladly sacrifice himself for the good of his fellows. He's a solid, but not exceptional fighter. He will retreat only if everybody else in the party is also dead or retreating.
Gangrel Antitribu Commando
ST 11, DX 14, IQ 12, HT 13
Speed 6.75, Move 6
Blood Pool 14, Path Rating 13
Dodge 7, Parry 10
Advantages: Black Hand Membership 2, Combat Reflexes, Intuition, Generation (12th)
Skills: Brawling 18, Camouflage 15, Guns 13, Stealth 16.
Disciplines: Celerity (Power 3), Obfuscate (Power 2), Cloak of Shadows 14, Unseen Presence 14, Protean (Power 5), Gleam of Red Eyes 14, Wolf Claws 14, Earth Meld 13, Shadow of the Beast 14, Form of Mist 12.
The City Gangrel commando is a bit of a lone wolf (excuse the expression). He doesn't like to attack with the main body, preferring to hold back and enter the fray just when the enemy thinks they have the advantage. He's fearless, but will pragmatically retreat if the fight seems hopeless.
ST 12, DX 13, IQ 13, HT 12.
Speed 6.25, Move 6.
Blood Pool 16, Path Rating 10.
Dodge 6, Parry 8.
Advantages: Danger Sense, Generation (10th).
Skills: Guns 15, Karate 12, Leadership 11, Stealth 14.
Disciplines: Dominate (Power 5), Command the Wearied Mind 15, Mesmerize 15, The Forgetful Mind 15, Conditioning 15, Possession 15, Obtenebration (Power 5), Shadow Play 15, Shroud of Night 15, Arms of the Abyss 15, Nightshades 15, Shadow Body 15, Potence (Power 4).
The Lasombra has only one reason for being on this Blood Hunt -- to enhance his own standing within the sect. He's no coward, but he sees no reason to risk himself unless doing so will improve his reputation. His tactics are to look like he's at the forefront of the battle while letting others take the brunt of it -- but he'll always be right there for the kill. The only thing that might tempt him to take any risks whatsoever is his fierce hatred for Tervel, the Tzimisce elder. He'll never retreat while anybody else is watching. He's better with his Disciplines than he is in physical combat.
Malkavian Antitribu Lunatic
ST 10, DX 14, IQ 11, HT 14
Speed 7, Move 7
Blood Pool 14, Path Rating 12
Dodge 8, Parry 11
Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Danger Sense.
Skills: Brawling 15, Stealth 14.
Disciplines: Auspex (Power 1), Heightened Senses 13, Dementation (Power 4), Passion 12, Mind Tricks 12, Eyes of Chaos 12, Confusion 13, Obfuscate (Power 2), Cloak of Shadows 12, Unseen Presence 13.
The Malkavian doesn't care about honor, or the Blood Hunt, or tactics or anything except the sheer primal joy of combat. He'll hurl himself gleefully and suicidally into the middle of the fray and won't hold back for anything. He'll be positively eager to frenzy.
Nosferatu Antitribu Fury
ST 15, DX 13, IQ 12, HT 12
Speed 6.25, Move 6
Blood Pool 14, Path Rating 12
Dodge 6, Parry 7
Advantages: Generation (11th), High Pain Threshold, Toughness 2.
Skills: Brawling 16, Guns 14, Stealth 15.
Disciplines: Animalism (Power 4), Sweet Whispers 12, The Beckoning 12, Song of Serenity 12, Sharing of Spirits 13, Obfuscate (Power 4), Cloak of Shadows 14, Unseen Presence 14, Mask of the Thousand Faces 13, Vanish from Mind's Eye 14, Potence (Power 5).
On a Blood Hunt, a Nosferatu antitribu does not hide his inhuman visage -- he flaunts it, using it to shock his opponents and gain an advantage. The Nosferatu will come into combat at full speed, wailing like a banshee, looking like a demon fresh from hell. He is an extremely dangerous combatant, with profound superhuman strength that he will use to best advantage. Despite his fearsome appearance, the Nosferatu is actually a careful combatant who will always use his head in battle. He will not hesitate to retreat if the fight is going badly. He might possibly take action to spare a fellow Nosferatu on the other side from harm, so long as doing so does not jeopardize the overall battle.
ST 11, DX 12, IQ 10, HT 11
Speed 5.75, Move 5
Blood Pool 11, Path Rating 10
Dodge 5, Parry 6
Skills: Brawling 12, Guns 13, Stealth 12.
Disciplines: Fortitude (Power 3), Presence (Power 2), Awe 11, Dread Gaze 11, Protean (Power 2), Gleam of the Red Eyes 11, Wolf Claws 12,
The Pander is interested only in proving his bravery in battle -- survival is strictly optional. If somebody is needed for a suicide mission, he's the first one to step forward. The Pander will go straight for Tervel in combat and will never retreat under any circumstances.
Ravnos Antitribu Scout
ST 10, DX 13, IQ 11, HT 10
Speed 5.75, Move 5
Blood Pool 10, Path Rating 14
Dodge 6, Parry 7.
Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Luck
Skills: Brawling 12, Camouflage 13, Guns 16, Stealth 16.
Disciplines: Animalism (Power 3), Sweet Whispers 12, The Beckoning 12, Song of Serenity 13, Chimerstry (Power 3), Ignus Fatuus 12, Fata Morgana 12, Apparition 13, Fortitude (Power 4).
The Ravnos is the most reluctant member of any of the Sabbat war parties. While no coward, he's not particularly concerned with honor or glory -- he's along because he has to come along. He will have a gun, and he will use it -- preferably from cover. He will turn tail at the first reasonable opportunity.
ST 11, DX 12, IQ 13, HT 13
Speed 6.25, Move 6.
Blood Pool 15, Path Rating 15
Dodge 6, Parry 6
Advantages: Generation (11th), High Pain Threshold.
Skills: Brawling 12, Guns 13, Leadership 13, Stealth 14, Tactics 12.
Disciplines: Animalism (Power 2), Sweet Whispers 12, The Beckoning 12, Auspex (Power 3), Heightened Senses 14, Aura Perception 14, The Spirit's Touch 13, Vicissitude (Power 4), Changeling 13, Fleshcraft 13, Bonecraft 13, Horrid Form 13.
The Tzimisce is a careful and dangerous combatant. He will certainly attack in his Horrid Form. He will be subtly deferent to Tervel -- preferring to attack the PCs and engaging the elder, if at all, only in a direct and honorable fashion. He will retreat, almost gratefully, when the battle turns against the Sabbat.
Ventrue Antitribu Bravo
ST 11, DX 12, IQ 14, HT 12.
Speed 6, Move 6.
Blood Pool 13, Path Rating 15.
Dodge 6, Parry 10.
Advantages: Generation (12th), High Pain Threshold, Luck.
Skills: Guns 14, Karate 15, Stealth 13, Tactics 14.
The Ventrue is a controlled, intelligent and extremely skilled combatant. He will actively fight the urge to Frenzy. He will retreat if it seems best to do so, and will abandon any fellow Sabbat who he feels is doing something stupid. Achieving the goal of the Blood Hunt is more important to him than how he achieves it -- he will not hesitate to set booby traps or act as a sniper if he feels he can weaken the enemy by doing so.
Vampire Prince of Tampa
8th Generation Gangrel
Age 101, 5' 10", 140 lbs.; blonde hair and blue eyes
ST 11, DX 10, IQ 14, HT 12
Basic Speed 5.5, Move 5
Blood Pool 22, Humanity 17
Dodge 5, Parry (Fencing) 8, Parry (Karate) 8
No armor or encumbrance
Advantages: Alertness +2, Appearance: Beautiful, Generation (8th), Status 2, Vampire Package, Wealth (Filthy Rich).
Disadvantages: Duty (-15), Sense of Duty: Tampa Kindred (-10).
Quirks: Very Formal, Never Displays Emotion.
Skills: Administration 14, Diplomacy 15, Fencing 12, Guns (Pistols) 12, Guns (Shotguns) 11, Intelligence Analysis 13, Interrogation 14, Karate 12, Leadership 15, Lip Reading 13, Literature 12, Musical Instrument (Piano) 15, Savoir-Faire 15, Strategy 14, Tactics 12, Writing 13.
Languages: English 16, French 14, Russian 14, Spanish 12.
Disciplines: Animalism (Power 4), Sweet Whispers 13, The Beckoning 13, Song of Serenity 15, Sharing of Spirits 14, Drawing out the Beast 16, Fortitude (Power 5), Protean (Power 5), Gleam of the Red Eyes 15, Wolf Claws 15, Earth Meld 15, Shadow of the Beast 15, Form of Mist 15.
Complete information on Svetlana was listed in Part One of this adventure, but her important stats are repeated here for those who do not have access to Issue #7.
Svetlana does not customarily go armed unless she knows of some imminent physical threat, but she's never seen outside her haven without her ghoul bodyguard Diaz, and usually one or two kindred guards, as well.
Diaz, Ghoul Bodyguard
Age 88, 5' 11", 180 lbs.; black hair and brown eyes
ST 15, DX 14, IQ 10, HT 14
Basic Speed 7, Move 7
Dodge 8, Parry (Karate) 14, Parry (Broadsword) 8
No armor or encumbrance
Advantages: Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold, Toughness 2
Disadvantages: Fanaticism (Svetlana)
Skills: Broadsword 14, Driving 14, Guns (Pistols) 17, Karate 21, Knife 16.
The above only includes Diaz's combat-related abilities, since PCs are not likely to see any other facets of his character.
He is a taciturn man with massive muscles. He acts as Svetlana's bodyguard, servant and chauffeur. He has been her ghoul since the end of the Second World War.
He normally wears a heavy pistol in a shoulder holster (he has a current and legal concealed carry permit) and a switchblade in his pocket. He keeps an aluminum baseball bat in Svetlana's limo, which he has been known to wield (using the Broadsword skill) against multiple opponents.
5th Generation Tzimisce
Age 1,265, 5' 7", 140 lbs., brown hair and brown eyes
ST 11, DX 14, IQ 18, HT 17
Basic Speed 7.75, Move 7
Blood Pool 47, Humanity 13
Dodge 8, Parry (Shortsword) 11
No armor or encumbrance
Advantages: Alertness +3, Appearance (Very Handsome), Combat Reflexes, Danger Sense, Status 5, Unfazeable, Vampire Package.
Disadvantages: Anachronism, Taint of Corruption.
Skills: Bow 14, Brawling 15, Camouflage 20, Climbing 12, Heraldry 17, History 16, Hypnotism 19, Knife 13, Knife Throwing 12, Literature 17, Savoir-Faire 19, Sculpting 15, Shield 14, Shortsword 20, Spear 13, Stealth 22.
Languages: Bulgarian 18, English 15, Greek 17, Latin 20, Russian 18.
Disciplines: Animalism (Power 7), Sweet Whispers 17, The Beckoning, 18, Song of Serenity 18, Sharing of Spirits 18, Drawing out the Beast 19, Animal Succulence 17, Conquer the Beast 20, Auspex (Power 8), Heightened Senses 19, Aura Perception 18, The Spirit's Touch 17, Unveil the Shrouded Mind 18, Abandon Earthly Form 19, Eagle's Sight 18, Spirit Link 17, Omniscience 20, Potence (Power 4), Fortitude (Power 3), Vicissitude (Power 8), Changeling 19, Fleshcraft 20, Bonecraft 19, Horrid Form 17, Inner Essence 18, Blood of Acid, Flesh Rot 17, Bauble 18.
Tervel was born late in the 8th century, the second son of a khan of the Bulgars. In his youth, Tervel's father had often fought the armies of Constantinople, but when Tervel was 11 his father sued for peace. Tervel was sent to the emperor's court as a hostage, and there the handsome and brilliant young barbarian soon became a favorite. But when Tervel was 17, his father died and he returned to Bulgaria. He had not been home more than a few weeks when his older brother, seeing Tervel as a possible rival, sent murderers to his room at night. But the murderers were themselves slain by a strong and handsome boyar Tervel had never seen before, who effortlessly killed the four warriors with his bare hands. Tervel's savior then offered to take the boy to a place of safety.
He kept his promise, but that night he also made Tervel a vampire of the Tzimisce clan. Tervel had been deliberately chosen for the Embrace by the most powerful vampire in the region, because of his mind and his experience with civilization.
As a vampire, Tervel's first act was to slay his treacherous brother. After his initial training was complete, Tervel's sire encouraged his childe to travel, and Tervel spent decades journeying through Europe, India and even Africa and the Orient, learning much in his travels about both kine and kindred.
Eventually, Tervel returned to Bulgaria and set himself up independently of his sire. He built his castle on a mountain, and he does not speak of what bargains he may have made to give his home its powerful mystical defenses. When the anarch rebellion came, Tervel's haven stood firm against the impetuous rebels.
After the rebellion, Tervel stopped travelling, instead spending his days in his castle and his nights hunting the ancient and forgotten kingdom of his father. As the centuries passed in solitude, Tervel came to care less and less for the ways of either kine or kindred, until all that was left of the charm that had distinguished him in his youth was his outward beauty and a cold, habitual courtesy.
Tervel still looks barely 18. His clean-shaven features, always striking, have been altered over the centuries through Fleshcraft until they now possess an almost angelic perfection. He does not like to talk, and will not hesitate to command to silence those whom he considers to be "prattling." He does not like to show emotion, and will use all of his Disciplines to resist Frenzy. He has no particular taste for cruelty or suffering, but is utterly devoid of any pity or empathy whatsoever for his prey or for his fellow Cainites. He is scrupulous about keeping his word, but like a deal with the devil, any promise from Tervel must be carefully scrutinized for its exact meaning and limits.
Note that although Tervel is given a "Humanity" rating of 13, he could just as easily be a follower of one of the Paths of Enlightenment -- perhaps a path long forgotten by most Cainites, or even one unique to Tervel.
He customarily carries a stout wooden walking-stick with a heavy head of rough-hewn solid gold. This stick was a gift from Tervel's sire, and it (actually, the knob -- the stick part is just a stick) is magickal. Tervel can draw from the knob magickal energy which will grant him up to 20 fatigue points per night, which can be used to instantly replace any fatigue lost to Disciplines. The knob can be unscrewed from the cane, and doing so reveals a small 1" x 1" x 2" cavity which Tervel sometimes uses to conceal himself in Bauble form. Tervel is very adept at fighting with his stick, doing 1d-1 thrust crushing or 1d+3 swing crushing damage (1d+2/3d at maximum Potence). Of course, he will usually use his Disciplines first in combat, rather than such base physical means.
Article publication date: August 1, 1994
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