Brother Casimir is a young and enthusiastic Inquisitor (perhaps over-enthusiastic). He’s not a particularly cruel man and takes no real pleasure in torture – but he is proud of his ability to “break and remake” sinners. He is ambitious and ruthless.
Casimir’s enthusiasm has been rewarded by his superiors. He has been placed in charge of an Inquisitor project to salvage a pre-collapse rail museum: the Illinois railway Museum (IRM). This is something of a mixed blessing. Casimir has a great opportunity but he has some major problems.
The various exhibits of the IRM are in poor condition, but enough remains to provide an immensely useful resource for (re)building a rail network. Therefore, several groups have an interest in the site; Twin Port University, Maxwell’s Militia,the NAU, and the Frozen Chosen would all like to own it – but don’t want to fight each other. Fortunately, a diplomatic solution has been found: the Inquisitors are clearing the site and (for a reasonable fee) allow “scholars” to study the technology and sometimes buy examples of specific machines.
Obviously, the IRM is a major asset for the Inquisitors and they take great care to keep it safe. They have become quite skilled at dealing with Razers and in “converting” them to their faith.
The Museum is now a church of the Inquisitors and home to a group of 40 fanatical worshippers. They are equipped with the best weaponry that the Church can provide (shotguns, bolt-action rifles, and a small supply of antique Thompson Machine Guns).
In politics – and business – it’s useful to have a reputation that everyone knows. And EVERYONE knows of The Countess.
Ask any Salvager and they’ll tell you that she’s a powerful, immortal vampire who controls the ruins of the City. Legends tell of her arrival, over 100 years ago.
The reality is not occult; but perhaps more impressive. The Countess is one of the Children of the Night but she has no claim to aristocracy. In fact, she is elected by a democracy and her job is to be the Childrens’ diplomat and “face”
There are about 500 of the Children. Their ancestors first began living in the ruins about a century ago and they have always welcomed their fellow mutants . They have come to terms with the fact that the “normals” could kill them all – unless scared away. Therefore, the Children have set up a facade that would have delighted fans of the old Hammer Horror movies. They only meet with traders/salvagers at night and in buildings that are ‘tuned’ – with creaky doors, spider webs and a gothic decor. They elect a new “Countess” every 6 years and ensure that each woman is adept at maintaining the Vampire image.
The current Countess is Isabelle Lopez, an intelligent young woman who wants to do the best for her community. She regrets that this sometimes means the death of intruders, but she accepts that the facade must be maintained. She would be intrigued by any contact with the Morrow Project – but would worry about their lack of superstition.
Encountering the Countess
The Countess (and the Children) can be used in a number of scenarios
1. Please kill the monsters! The team is asked to deal with the Vampire problem
2. Find the X. The team needs to get into the City and retrieve X (one of their caches, a library, a dud warhead, etcetera)
3. Save Y. The Children have abducted Y. The team is asked to retrieve him/her
The “Children of the Night” are mutant humans. Their major mutation is the development of an ability to sense weak electric fields (a similar capability is possessed by sharks and some mutated species of bats). These sensors can be seen on the forehead and face of a Child. This ability allows them to hunt in total darkness and even “see” through walls – it is very difficult to hide from a Child of the Night. Unfortunately, this same sensitivity makes it difficult for them to associate with groups of people or animals; the Children describe it as “surrounded by noise”. Therefore, they prefer isolated locations. They are also more comfortable at night and dislike any technology that involves electrical power (especially radio/radar). Obviously, they seriously dislike thunderstorms .
Rumours and legends about the Children assign Vampire-like capabilities and weaknesses to these mutants. However, these are not entirely accurate.
- Bloodsuckers: Partially true. The Children can digest ‘normal’ food but often suffer from iron-deficiency and have periodic cravings for meat and blood
- Sunlight: Untrue. They are not overly sensitive to sunlight – but prefer to operate at night when there is less electric “noise”
- Mind reading: Partially true. Some Children can interpret the electric field from a human brain and identify emotions
- Protective magic: Untrue. They have no objection to garlic or holy symbols and churches are only uncomfortable if the congregation is present.
- Fangs: Untrue. A Child’s teeth are not unusually-sized
- Strength: Untrue. They have the same strength as “normal” humans
The Children are sometimes found in ruined cities and will make arrangements with Salvagers. The Children can often sense the presence of metal (even if it is buried underneath rubble) and are willing to trade scrap for food.