I’ve hosted a bunch of vampire rpg sessions (both masquerade and dark ages) between 1996 and the early 2000s but it went away after that for the usual reasons (people moving away, trying some other game, less time, etc.). Until now!
I think we could do this once a year, we’ll see…
Back then, I had two parallel campaigns going on, one was set in the Iberian Peninsula (the kingdoms of what is now Spain and Portugal during the Reconquista era) and the other in England, with two group of players. There was a bit of intermingling when my hometown friends or more often, my brother Jason, could come to see me. Anyway, according to my 20 years old notes – I wish they weren’t so sparse, it was fine for regular thing but not for such a long hiatus! – the last time we played the player characters were in England. Where they killed a whole bunch of people, no doubt about it.
I’ve also noted that they had a “haven” in Badajoz. What’s Badajoz? It’s a city in the Extremadura region which is part of the Kingdom of Castille. I had no idea before googling it (and now I know a lot about this city and a lot of other things too). Last date noted was 1317 so here we go. They’ll have to go back to this particular haven, because I need a starting point and that will do. And then they can do what they want, interacting with the NPCs I present them and the events happening around.
Player Characters (PCs:
- Harold Necros (Ben), 7th generation Cappadocian ancilla, Road of Bones, contacts with the Lazarenes
- Johan Grimes (Pascal), 7th generation Malkavian ancilla, Road of Sin, member of the Ordo Enigmatis
- Krad McClaleen (Chris) , 7th generation Gangrel ancilla, Road of the Beast, multiple diablerie
- Adhémar (Jason), 7th generation Kiasyd ancilla, Road of Caine, member of the Cainite Heresy
The almohads musulmans have one last bastion in the south centered around the fortified city of Granada, officially at peace and a vassal of the crown of Castille. Tensions and wars are more often between competing christian kingdoms, the reconquista has slowed down.
World of Darkness: The Iberian peninsula has a younger vampire population than most places in Europe. If there is some visigothic or even roman and phoenician elders still around, the vast majority is newly established. Clan Lasombra is by far the most powerful, the war of princes has led to the preeminence of the dark magisters in this region. Among them, Silvester de Ruiz, in Madrid, is the current leader, but his childer, the Archbishop Monçada is rising fast and may eclipse him before long…
- Year 1319- The PCs booked a passage from England to Spain. Their contact was a portuguese vampire based in Lisbon named Vicente de Cardona (lasombra).
- Vicente’s agents tried to sneak a blood bond into the voyage’s refreshment. It mostly failed though Johan felt they should not so hastily accuse generous Vicente of such a misdeed.
- The PCs arrived in Lisbon where they met with Prince Macario (brujah). They also met Vicente in person (he’s a fool) and expressed their displeasure and imposed on him their own blood bond and essentially cowed him made him their pawn.
- They left Lisbon and went East and reached their destination a week later or so, the city of Badajoz in Spain, just across the portuguese border.
- Adhémar still had his villa to accomodate them but they soon learned that the city proper was now claimed by a certain Prince Baldomar of the toreador clan. At the Jardines de la galera, the Prince made it clear that they weren’t particularly welcomed. Things got sour very fast when following a verbal joust, Johan countered a presence with a dementation power, confusing the toreador for an hour and humiliating the newly-minted prince in the process.
- Inês, a lasombra resident, was happy to let the PCs know that Baldomar wasn’t well entrenched in his leadership and that he hadn’t much support from the powerful of Castille (i.e the lasombra).
- Krad challenges Baldomar to a duel, but the latter refuses saying that Krad is no knight
- The PCs raid the Alcazaba fortress and kill Baldomar and his 2 childers (and quite a few human guards).
- Johan Grimes the Malkavian proclaim himself Prince of Badajoz.
- Prince Johan sends messages to Prince Roque of Pampalona (malkavian) and Prince Macario of Lisbon (brujah) to let them know of his claim to princedom. He sends Harold and Inês, with Krad for protection, on a diplomatic tour while he and Adhémar take control of the city’s agents and ressources.
Ambassador Harold, Prince Johan
- Harold & cie make a quick stop to nearby Merìda. They find the mood of the town to be fearful. Something is up but they can’t find what without an investigation.
- Prince Johan receives an ambiguous reply from Prince Macario of Lisbon who wishes him well but also tells him that he can’t garantee that the Portuguese armies won’t cross the border in the future.
- Harold & cie are in Caceres where they meet Prince Viriath (gangrel). He expresses his displeasure at the aggressiveness of his new neighbours (the PCs) and also insist that his domain is neutral in the peninsula’s politics.
- Nina, an apostle of the Third Caine, does some proselytism in Badajoz but she’s met with a could shoulder (the PCs later learn that she was also spying for a portuguese vampire)
- Harold & cie are in Toledo where they meet with Elieser de Polanco (lasombra), an erstwhile ally who seems focused on rekindling the war against Granada in Al-Andalus.
- They also meet with with Jorge Crespo (nosferatu) who informs them on an actual who’s who among the iberian vampires in exchange for a future favor.
- Harold & cie are in Madrid, the influent Silvester de Ruiz doesn’t have time for them but they meet with his seneschal Nastasio (ventrue) who tells them that the lasombra clan will acknowledge Prince Johan if he accepts to let them have Badajoz’s mayor under their control. This deal won’t happen.
- They also meet with Archbishop Monçada:
And a game of Chess
- Monçada challenges Harold to a game of chess, he accepts. Harold with the white pieces. White establishes a cautious control of the center while black advance from the sides (Monçada comments: don’t attack where your opponent is strong). White’s position begins to crumble under Black’s pressure and decide to sacrifice a piece in order to gain a tactical advantage (Monçada comments: sacrifice is good, foolhardiness is not). Black accepts a lesser position but gains the advantage of quality and proceed to slowly grind white with his pawns and ultimately wins the game (Monçada comments: be patient, use your advantages and wait for your foe to make a mistake).