Categories > Original > Horror


by overthetopglam 3 reviews

Loosely based on the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade and the television series Kindred: The Embraced.

Category: Horror - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Fantasy,Horror - Warnings: [V] [?] - Published: 2022-10-24 - 4543 words

Vampires in the World of Darkness make use of several familiar tropes of vampires in myth and legend such as immortality and a powerful thirst for blood. They are truly undead as their hearts do not beat, they do not require food or drink, they do not age, their skin is cold and pale, and the only sustenance they require is blood. Despite their undead status, vampires of this world are thinking, feeling beings capable of thought, emotion, and empathy (though this capacity may diminish with age, or through a desensitization caused by immoral actions, referred to as "loss of Humanity"). Other tropes or weaknesses are described as mere legends or superstitions, such as a vampire's victim becoming a vampire simply from a bite. Though they are typically not repulsed by garlic or holy symbols, there is a system of merits and flaws that can affect characters in this way, though they are not animated by some demonic spirit.

Sunlight is fearsome and deadly to vampires of this canon, and at most, they can tolerate a few seconds of exposure before perishing. Although depending on which clan they belong to, some are able to withstand the harmful rays of the sun and even walk in broad daylight, so long as they have fed. A wooden stake through the heart is not deadly to these creatures but will immobilize them until it is removed. Vampires may enter a deathlike sleep called torpor. Torpor may be caused by near-fatal injuries or may be entered into voluntarily. The level of the vampire's humanity determines how long they sleep for. Though they cannot die of old age, vampires in this setting can die. Fire, sunlight, decapitation, supernatural powers, or succumbing to a clan weakness can cause the vampire to reach what is referred to as Final Death—to truly die. Torpor allows the vampire release from their existential pain but it also may make them vulnerable. Vampires in this state, if not well hidden, may have difficulty defending themselves and are vulnerable to destruction by vampire hunters or Diablerie by other vampires.

Characters in this world refer to the supernatural blood in their bodies that sustains them as vitae. Vampires gain vitae by drinking blood. This accumulation of vitae is called a blood pool. This represents the amount of vitae the vampire has available to expend to fuel supernatural powers, to heal wounds, or to increase their physical strength, agility, or stamina. Characters can replace lost Vitae by drinking more blood. A vampire's vitae can inspire false feelings of love and foster dependency if drunk by others. This addiction to vampiric blood is called the Blood Bond. The vampire performing the bond is called a Regnant and the one being bound is called a Thrall. In most cases, a victim must drink three times from the same vampire on three separate nights to become bonded. Once bonded, the victim feels something akin to a very twisted sort of love for the vampire and they become the most important person in their life. They also become more susceptible to mind control by that vampire and are willing to do anything, even risk their own life, to aid their regnant. Mortals, animals, and even other vampires and other supernatural creatures may be bound.

Vampires may create more of themselves by draining a human to the point of death and then feeding the victim some of their blood. The creator vampire is known as a sire, the newly created vampire a childe and the creation process is referred to as the embrace. Very little vitae is required to trigger the metamorphosis but the victim must be freshly dead. It does not work on corpses that are more than a few minutes old.

The Masquerade refers to an organized conspiracy primarily orchestrated by the Camarilla to convince the general public that vampires do not exist. The Camarilla believes the Masquerade is the cornerstone survival strategy for Kindred and fear that without it the kine would rise up and exterminate all the undead. Prohibitions against exposing the existence of Kindred existed prior to the 15th century in a set of ancient laws known as the Traditions. The First Tradition reads: "Thou shall not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood. Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood." This stricture was not consistently nor as strictly enforced until the Inquisition of the 15th century required it. During this period vampires were destroyed in large numbers by vampire hunters which largely prompted the formation of a sect known as the Camarilla whose primary purpose was to promote and enforce the Masquerade as a means of survival. The Masquerade is largely enforced through self-policing, but it is primarily the job of the Prince in Camarilla controlled cities to enforce it. Princes may use any means at their disposal to ensure vampire society stays hidden and that those who break the Masquerade are duly punished. Punishments for breaches have a range but are usually draconian in nature due to the seriousness of the Masquerade. Final Death, often by means of a ritualized "Blood Hunt" by other vampires, is not uncommon. When breaches do occur, the Camarilla takes great pains to repair them. This could include anything from erasing a mortal's memories using supernatural powers to manipulating mortal pawns in order to keep events out of the media.

Vampires in the World of Darkness have a rich, complex, and diverse secret society with a range of ideologies, goals, and backgrounds. Sects largely divide along ideological disputes surrounding the distribution of power among vampires, the role of vampires in the human world, and the ancient myths that allegedly explain the origins and purpose of vampires. An important means of social distinction among vampires in this setting is through age. Younger vampires wanting respect and power must prove themselves to their elders. While ambition can provide a degree of upward mobility among immortals, oftentimes respect comes to those who can prove they can survive.

Vampires organize and divide themselves politically and ideologically into sects which form a governing structure for undead societies. Laws and norms concerning the place of vampires within the mortal world, feeding, the treatment of vessels, vampiric morality, secrecy, feeding grounds.

Lasombra: Darkly aristocratic vampires, Lasombra see power over others and self-mastery as their noblesse oblige. The Lasombra practice a Discipline known as Obtenebration that allows them to manipulate shadows and darkness. Perhaps as a result of their signature Discipline they do not appear in mirrors or on film that uses mirrors in its development.

Julian Luna was a down-on-his-luck carpenter. He wasn't really getting a lot of work. Some people offered him a job as a stripper because of his very manly physique. But Julian wasn't that desperate. He forgot to pay his rent and was locked out of his apartment. Short of cash he decided to just get the rest of his stuff thru the fire escape. Thankfully the window wasn't tightly shut. As soon as he got the essentials he bolted right outta there. Now the question was where was he going to stay for the time being? He just decided to rough it out in his dilapidated old truck. While parking at a nearby forest, he could see light emanating from a distance. He drove closer and noticed a huge mansion. "Wonder if anyone is in need of repairs". Just as soon as his truck got closer to the huge gate with a giant letter S infront, shaped like a swan, it automatically opened. "I guess they were expecting me". As he parked his truck in the driveway, a huge man appears out of nowhere. At first Julian thought he was the bodyguard. But then found out that he was the butler. He looked awfully young and fit to want a job waiting hand and foot on someone. "But what do I know, I hardly even have any job prospects". The butler, who's name is Max Raine told Julian to follow him. So he did. And inside he went into the sprawling mansion. He was greeted by the Madam of the Manor, standing at the foot of the grand staircase. Dressed in the most exquisite evening wear. Dripping in diamonds. The lady was named Stacy Swanson. Stacy: Are you a carpenter? J: Why yes. Do you need any repairs? S: As a matter of fact I do. I have several rooms that need refurbishing. J: Well, I'm not exactly an interior decorator but... S: Do you want the job or not? J: Yes! I do! S: Very well. You may begin during daylight hours. I have a prior engagement. If you'll excuse me. She leaves gracefully with her perfume wafting in the air. Max: I'll show you to your room.

Compared to what Julian was used to, his new room was enormous. Fit for a prince. M: Get some sleep, you have a lot of work to do in the morning. As the night turns to day, Julian quickly got up and readied himself. When he opened the bathroom cabinet, he was surprised to find it fully stocked. Same with his closet. It was as if everything had just magically appeared. When previously it was empty. Anyway he just went straight to work. But he forgot to have breakfast. Then almost instantly a very beautiful maid arrives with a silver tray full of food. He tried to help the maid with the obviously heavy load, but the maid didn't seem bothered by the weight. "Bon appetit!" As she sauntered away. Julian tested the weight of the tray which appeared to be made out of real silver. And the heap of food on top of it made it extra heavy. How did the very petite maid manage to carry all that to the room without heaving? Then he looked out and saw an elevator. "Oh well!" Julian chowed-down on the scrumptious meal. As he surveyed his surrounding. The room was very large and consisted of all the tools and supplies needed to finish the job. How did they get all this stuff in here, in such a short amount of time? Did they already preorder it before I got here? "Whatever!" Focus on the job at hand. He just had a few minor questions. So he went looking for big ole Max.

Max was just standing outside the doorway like a creeper. J: Oh! You startled me. I was just about to look for you. I have a few tiny queries is all. M: What is it? Just then laughter emanated from the room adjacent. Julian couldn't help but steal a peek. He froze in disbelief. For right infront of him was the most exquisite woman he had ever had the pleasure of laying his eyes on. She was a complete facsimile of the legendary Marilyn Monroe down to a T! Julian hadn't realized he was gawking at this fine specimen, mouth agape. The lady of the manor glared at Julian without saying a word. Julian was caught off guard and apologized profusely. Max yanked him away. As Julian was being escorted away he overheard Stacy call her guest "Marilyn". Coinkidink!

Julian just busied and confined himself to the room until further notice. He probably would be done much sooner if he had more hands to help him. But Julian was just grateful to be employed for a change. Little did he know that he would never be done working for Madam Swanson. Occasionally looking out the wide windows and admiring the view. He never noticed til now. But everyone around him in this vast estate were all ridiculously good looking. The gardeners were enormous and chiseled with smiles that could melt your heart. He avoided eye contact cause they were waving directly at him. He was actually blushing. Julian slapped his face. "What is wrong with you? Your not even gay". They were all so damn irresistible. Damned was more fitting a word to describe them.

As the day quickly turned to night. Julian went straight to bed but could still hear the faint laughter from the ongoing festivities. Every night it seems there was always a grand soiree. But never during the day.

The next morning was like clockwork. Breakfast always arrived at the exact same time. As did lunch and dinner. Julian never had to ask for anything. It was as if Max could read his mind this time. The staff were incredibly friendly and charming of course. But they all stared at Julian with a ferocious appetite. Julian knew he was attractive but this was ridiculous. I guess they were all probably just bored of staring at each others angelic countenance. More like dark features.

As Julian finally finished with one room it was on to the next. Then onto another room. It just never ends. There were hundreds of rooms and for whatever reason they seemed to all need repairs. At this point Julian thought he would never be out of a job. Lucky for him or unlucky. Julian never realized that he was being toyed with.

The day of reckoning commenced. Late one night in bed Julian woke up to hear voices calling, beckoning him towards the cellar. As he went down to the cellar, he found a secret tunnel leading directly to an antechamber. Then onto a temple of sorts. Julian was surrounded by people wearing cloaks. Julian took that as a clue to bolt right outta there. But the doors slammed shut. He was trapped and began panicking and hyperventilating. Stacy slowly approached him and calmed him down. "Do you wish to live for eternity or die?" "What is this a trick question? Of course I wanna live". "Then you have until tomorrow to live out the remainder of your measly life". "What!" As they all start exiting the room. As soon as everyone was gone, Julian raced up to his room and started packing. Then remembered that none of these were his. Max surprised him infront of the door. "Max would you please stop doing that!" M: Do you wish to leave? J: Duh! What does this look like to you? M: Then the best of luck to you on your journey. J: Yah, Yah! What the hell are these people? M: The Eternals. J: That's vague. You could have just said Cult! M: Of a sort. J: Goodbye Max! Julian was out the door and headed straight for the garage. He found his truck and started the engine. But the old truck refused to move. He had to push it to start. Then it finally went straight for the gate rapidly. About to crash when the gates just opened. Julian raced towards his car, got in and got outta there. "Adios!" But would soon find himself drawn back to it's clutches. As shadowy figures watched as Julian escaped.

As dawn greeted Julian in his groggy state. Trying to process everything that came before. He kept hearing echoes of return. "Come back to me!" He tried to shake it off. But it was incessant. It only stopped when he drove back to the mansion. The imposing structure opened up and appeared to be swallowing him whole. The doors where all open welcoming his return. Stacy and Max were waiting patiently inside. Stacy was reclined in her chaise lounge. Max was just standing with his arms crossed with a look of disdain. S: Welcome home my love! J: Huh! S: The procession begins tonight. Get some rest you look tired. Julian was most certainly tired of all this. As the sun slowly set. The eager proceedings were about to commence. Firstly they had to have a lavish party. All the invited guests were dressed to the nines. The piece de resistance amongst the outre invitees was none other than the immortal Queen of the silver screen, Marilyn Monroe! She regally glided down the staircase in a blood red gown without even holding onto the railing accompanied by a symphony orchestra. Everyone was awed by her luminescence. It was as if she had her very own spotlight. She was radiant. Marilyn greeted Stacy and swiftly cajoled Julian away from the sybarites. "I implore you Julian, choose death!" J: Excuse me! M: I was never given a choice in the matter. I was simply turned. I yearned for the sunlight. But was kept in the darkness. You don't have to be like one of us. J: But I have no choice! They're going to kill me regardless. I can't just run away. M: You always have a choice. J: I can't decide. You are her aren't you. Marilyn Monroe! What's it like to live forever. And be admired by countless folks. M: It feels empty. Irrelevant. I forgave the people who hurt me when I was still alive. But I can never forgive myself for the hurt I cause with the living. People keep calling me Marilyn. But Marilyn died a long time ago. I'm simply just Norma Jeane! As a tear slowly trickled down her cheek. Julian wiped it off with his finger and noticed blood. J: What the? M: The human eye can only see what we project. The moisture in our bodies have withered, leaving only traces of coagulant. J: Can I still call you Marilyn? M: Of course you can. Have they told you the procedure? To extract your humanness out of you. J: No! They haven't. M: It's simple they.... Just then a very handsome young lad called out to Marilyn. "They need you Marilyn!" "I'll be right there Jimmy! Please make the right choice!" As Marilyn sauntered off. Julian pondered her request.

The ceremony initiated. Everyone was back underground in their cloaks. Julian was agitated. The crowd began to disrobe. Leaving nothing to the imagination. Then they slowly undressed Julian. Thankfully leaving his boxer briefs on. Taking turns, they all start nibbling on Julian. Julian noticed their fangs magically sprouting. As Julian felt the last ounce of life escaping him. He made a bold decision and grabbed the nearest weapon he could find and jammed it at the recipient. And ran as far away from there, clutching his clothes. The vampire contingent simply grinned. "Let the games begin".

Once again, Julian ran for dear life. But this time there were no more voices. All Julian could think of was exposure. As he was pretty exposed. He hurriedly put his clothes back on and called for help. The authorities thought he was crazy looking like an addict. He tried showing them the bite marks. But they all magically disappeared. He pleaded with them to follow him to the location. But any signs of structure in the vicinity were all covered with trees and grass. It's as if the entire estate had poofed out of existence like a mirage. The cops left the loony all by his lonesome thinking he probably hallucinated the whole thing. As the police carted off. A huge fog started emerging. As it dissipated the manor could be seen from a distance. The gates opened and out came two burly men. They grab hold of Julian and drag him back inside. The vampires bled him dry. Stacy slit her wrist and out came pouring her aristocratic blood. Dripping into Julian's mouth. He began convulsing and the last remaining embers flickered away. As his eyes grew dim. And real soon he awoke as the undead. He was reborn! He was now Kindred: The Embraced.

Stacy Swanson was born in the seventeenth century as part of the nobility. But her fortunes were on the wane. And she was exiled by the elite. A gang of mercenaries sexually violated her. And she was left for dead. But a handsome young stranger gave her new life and purpose to avenge those who took everything away from her. Soon she became part of the vampire aristocracy. Stacy explained to Julian all the intricacies of vampirism. Including the numerous clans and sects. And the myriad of abilities that each and every member acquires. "It's different for everyone. We are of the clan Lasombra. We cast no reflection in mirrors or film. That is why the manor has no mirrors. And is simply filled with paintings of myself throughout the decades. And we are more susceptible to sunlight than most of our kin. I was never allowed to choose below my station. But when I first caught sight of you I had to have you. And now we shall wed". J: What now?

The wedding was held at the Ventrue castle. The Ventrue are the aristocrats and kings of vampires, having historically played a leadership role among the clans. Ventrue seeks power and wealth to support its legacy of rulership over Kindred and Kine. Ventrue, as a clan, may only feed from a specific kind of vessel (e.g. virgins, blondes, youngest siblings). Also in attendance were the Toreador clan. Toreador are sensitive, artistic, and sometimes debauched hedonists fascinated by the mortal world and its artistic creations. Enthralled by the ever-changing mortal world, they are one of the few clans who seek to keep up with it. Toreador often Embrace for beauty or to preserve artistic talent. Beauty can utterly captivate them, immobilizing them for a period of time. Marilyn Monroe just so happens to be one of them. Go figure! Elvis couldn't come. And among others are the clan Nosferatu. The clan Nosferatu are doomed to wear their bestial nature on the outside. The Embrace turns its victims into hideous and deformed monsters who are marginalized by their appearance and forced to dwell in the shadows of the sewers. However, their lives on the fringes and their stealthy abilities allow them to learn secrets others would rather keep hidden; as a result, they often traffic in information. All Nosferatu are ugly and obviously monsters to the point that appearing openly would break the Masquerade. These monsters just so happen to be allowed refuge in the catacombs of the castle.

Marilyn hugged Julian tightly and would not let go. James had to pull her away. J: Let's just go play cards with the Nosferatu. Everyone was drinking blood from a champagne glass. As long as they've fed their skin color goes back to normal and less pale. Some can even walk in daylight temporarily with protective cover and not burst into flames. In a darkened corner Marilyn was having fun with the dregs of the underworld, together with her paramour. They were like the Barbie and Ken of the Underworld surrounded by grotesque demonic hellhounds. At the Great Hall the music began and everyone was instructed to take their seats. The wedding would soon start and finish in bloodshed.

The Brujah. In ancient times, the Brujah were a clan of noble philosophers and warrior-poets. Since the loss of their city of Carthage, which was their crowning achievement, they have become a clan of malcontents, rebels, rogues, and anti-authoritarians. Brujah possess great passion, but this same passion makes it more difficult for them to resist the Beast. After the revolt of Theo Bell, who killed Hardestadt in Prague, they left in numbers to join the Anarch movement and are commonly leaders.

Banu Haqim. Formerly known as Assamite, they are a cult of undead assassins based in the Middle East. They kill for hire and are paid in Vitae(the supernatural blood in their bodies that sustains them) for use in special rituals that bring the clan's members closer to Haqim. They possess a specialized Discipline called Quietus, which aids in stealth and killing.

During the wedding the Brujah crash through the stained glass windows, machine gunning the entire congregation. Together with the mercenaries Banu Haqim and their sharp blades, slicing and dicing the hell out of the hellspawn. Decapitating the decadent undead. But bullets simply will not kill vampires. So they improvised and created irradiated bullets. The radiation seeped through and burned them to ashes. James quickly shielded his beloved and they super-sped away. Stacy quickly burst into flames. Julian was the last man standing. They were about to shoot him when the cavalry arrived. Julian was spared a meaningless marriage.

Back at Casa Swanson. Julian had to break the bad news to Max. Max broke down and was inconsolable. He was not just Stacy's loyal manservant. He was her former lover and first husband. Beyond the grounds of the estate and past the high fenced walls. Naked men and women were running askance. With Julien's heightened senses and superior hearing he could see the troublemakers in the dark. Like infrared goggles. "Stop right there! What do you think your doing?" They all look at him with blank expressions on their faces. "Who are you?" J: I live here. And who are you? And why are you streaking at night. "We are the Garou. Your kind call us Lupines. We are sworn enemies". J: What! Why? Look I'm new at this and I have no idea what your talking about. Can we just like talk this out and maybe hang out. "But we are forbidden to interact with..." J: Okay look here. I don't know who made up these stupid rules but can't we all just get along. They stare at Julian like he's some kind of lunatic. J: Are you guys hungry? There's plenty of food in the pantry and since I no longer eat. What do you say? But put some clothes on first. They all nod and follow Julian inside. The vampire staff are befuddled. Max blocks entry. J: Max come on pal! Let us through. Pretty please. Max involuntarily steps aside. Soon they are all laughing, fooling around and generally having a very good time.

The vampire council catch word of this and invite Julian over. Eventually Julian is inducted and crowned as the new prince of the city. For no other vampire has been able to breach the cycle of hatred amongst the feuding vampires and lupines. At long last there is a sliver of hope for the unification between the species. And soon a merging of the bloodlines.

The final shot is of Julian standing proud wearing a dark suit and sunglasses. At the very top of a very tall building overlooking the city. His city. As the new prince of the vampires. As the sun sets he takes off his glasses debonairly. With a mischievous grin. As we close in on vampire eyes. Blink! Fade to total darkness. THE END?

(I was clearly inspired by the short lived series, Kindred: The Embraced. Based on the RPG Vampire: The Masquerade. And it's sorta like my tribute to the actor who played Julian Luna, Mark Frankel. On 24 September 1996, the 34-year-old Frankel died in a traffic accident from injuries sustained when he was hit by a lorry. I haven't fully read the RPG. With so much in it. It just gives me a headache. Being the idiot that I am. That's why I prefer Movies and TV instead. I grew up on Aaron Spelling shows like Dynasty and anything with over the top glamazons or vampires are definitely my jam. Forgive me if this doesn't seem like your jam. I'm not really a writer. Just a kooky idea maker.)
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