Flyers have been circulating around the streets of Acryn.
“Adventurers wanted to investigate the disappearance of our beloved Mina Murray, last seen at the Tender Church in the small town of Brasov. Applicants should be stout of heart and pure of spirit. Compensation will be provided.
This will be a low-mid level adventure in a small village outside the city.
Once Tuireann descends to spread their love to the forest, things become a tad - fragmented. And markedly more verdant.
Jeremy and his vampire love remain on their feet, due to the nature of their recently-forged soul bond. In the distraction, they are able to flee the vampire minions pursuing them. Abandoning the rest of the party, they begin to make their way back to Acryn.
Jemiker and Rodrigo are not so lucky, having been unconscious at the point of Tuireann’s summoning. When they wake, they feel cold all over. There is a horrified sound from Jemiker, as she confirms what they had begun to suspect already: her heart is no longer beating. Neither is Rodrigo’s. They are - quite distinctly and unequivocally this time - now vampires.
They are also, however, entirely unattended. Presumably the Blood Forest inhabitants have more pressing matters with which to concern themselves than the fate of a couple of fledglings. As such, they are also able to flee with relative impunity.
Vermillion is… considerably less lucky. When he wakes, it is not as himself. Not exactly. Rather, about three things he is absolutely positive. First, he is now a vampire imbued with Anomaly powers, incapable of feeling fear. Secondly, there is a part of his former self - however small - that remains, but that part is fragile and insubstantial.
And third, he is unconditionally and irrevocably loyal to the Queen of the Blood Forest, Mircalla Karnstein.
Selphina continues to dance, radiant in the wake of their master’s presence, and oblivious to all else other than its glory. After a while, she begins to wander the forest, still revelling in Tuireann’s presence - although disappointed that her companions have evidently elected not to do the same.
Jeremy and Jed return to Acryn. Jeremy offers Jed a place to stay in his house, just in case, you know, he needs it. Jed is delighted to accept his hospitality, on the basis that it renders the highly necessary task of watching Jeremy while he sleeps much less inconvenient.
It is not long before he makes the transition from half-vampire to full. Over the next week or so, he proceeds to spend some time getting to grips with his new vampiric abilities - and the corresponding disadvantages. Ultimately, given his access to a relatively legitimate supply of blood as doctor, and with the guidance of Jed, the cravings do not prove insurmountable.
He also provides the students in his schoolroom with a vial of his blood, extracted from before full vampirism took hold. After a few days’ solid research and testing, they are able to concoct an antidote to the necrotic poison. Examining this, Jeremy suspects this will only be effective if applied whilst someone is at the halfway house of turning into a vampire - i.e. it will not be effective on those who have fully transformed.
Jemiker, on noting that a nose pump does not number amongst any of her recent physiological changes, decides that, on balance, there is little point in attempting to find a cure. Instead, she heads back to the office of Jimmy Hoskins, in order to make a full report about the events of her latest adventure - including information on the Anomaly, on Mircalla Karnstein the crazy wounding mage, and on the sudden explosion of vines that put such an abrupt end to what had already been a relatively disastrous adventure.
Vermillion returns to Acryn a changed man. Some things, however, stay the same: to wit, his dedication to his craft. As such, he sets about creating some spectacular statues in order to encourage wealthy patrons of the arts to visit the beautiful, picturesque little village located in the, erm. The… Blood Forest. Yes, that.
Astonishingly, this proves at least somewhat successful. The Queen of the Forest is only too happy to temporarily welcome sundry curious art lovers to the fold, and if some end up a tad - bitten - well, what of it? The majority of them remain unharmed, and are free to return to the city.
As consequence of this, word of strange, seemingly mythical creatures that drain the blood of the living seems to be filtering back to Acryn - but, for now at least, word is lost in the plethora of other adventurers’ tales that grace the city on a daily basis.
Rodrigo heads to a local Tender Church, on the basis that they promised to help him with a future malady. He consults them to see what can be done about his newly-acquired vampirism. Results are not hugely encouraging. According to the priest on duty, ridding him of this condition would be somewhat akin now to raising the dead, and none of their number at this particular branch possess that kind of power. They are happy to help him with any other, less complicated malady, though - and think that ridding someone of incipient vampirism (i.e. if they had not fully turned) ought to be relatively simple, if it ever comes up.
Rodrigo then heads to the Watch, to warn them of the dangers the Blood Forest poses - including the fact that he thinks Tuireann might now be present there. In light of a couple of recent disappearances amongst the art community, they take this quite seriously, and issue a couple of public safety warnings about future visits to this location.
In the coming weeks, he steps up his training regimen. Next time he faces the vampires, he intends to be much more successful.
Back at the Blood Forest - and now rid of her presumably hateful and love-averse erstwhile associates - Selphina takes the opportunity to explore. She manages to pick up a fair amount of Mircalla’s treasure stores, and gains around 30R.
After a while, she returns back home to her family. They are somewhat alarmed to find that Tuireann appears to have retreated from their home, leaving the prison somewhat bare of vines. The forest, in fact, has withered entirely. However, it is not long before Selphina is able to reassure them with her news: she has found a new, bigger forest, where they can all live together. With added vampires! Team Tuireann, if they wish, are able to relocate to the village. Mircalla has a mansion that she is only too happy to share - or, if they wish to remain separate from the vampire cult, they can always find a new home in the thicker, uninhabited parts of the forest.
Consequences for Players
You are IMMUNE to calls which prey on your own fear, including: FEAR, COWER BEFORE ME, and YOU DARE NOT STRIKE ME.
You gain the following abilities: You may detect when you are in Flux and may identify beings which are of the Flux. This includes characters who have the Epic Tree Children of the Night.
You are treated as a resident of the BLOOD FOREST and will not be attacked by residents unless you attack them first.
Once per an adventure you may make use of your Anomaly powers for an encounter. To simulate your anomaly powers you have 8 skill points to spend as you wish, choosing from skills from the Wayfinder Class and the Scion of the Flux Wayfinder insight. You must purchase all pre-reqs (even when you have abilities which simulate that skill). You are not restricted by level caps when making these purchases.
You believe yourself to be the loyal lover of the Queen of the Blood Forest, sent out into the world to aid in her conquest. Once per an adventure, when something happens to weaken your resolve (player's choice), your old personality is capable of emerging, how long this lasts is variable (again players choice) but cannot last beyond the end of the encounter. This cannot be the same encounter as the use of your anomaly powers. Your loyalty is to the Queen of the Blood Forest. For now, she is allied with the Beast of the Blood Forest (Tuireann), but you do not believe that she wishes for that to be a long-term arrangement and appears to be seeking a way of gaining dominance over the forest itself.
You have the epic tree Organisational Ties (Queen of the Blood Forest) and may purchase skills up to Lv4.
You gain the Children of the Night epic tree.