Vampire - The Requiem Rulebook.pdf

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Vampire The Requiem
A Mode rn Gothic Storyte l ling Game
Vampire ® created by Mark Rein•Hagen
“Would you like to
dance?” she asked me. I
died that night.
It was cold, winter, but
though the outside cold
never touched us, the
inside cold eclipsed the
warmth of the fire blazing
on her terrace, growing
outward to meet the chill
of the season on its own
terms. We danced, my
hand on the small of her
back, yet she led me
nonetheless. The music
came from… somewhere.
Strings. A piano. That
was all. I never saw the
players, though I heard
their tune. It was a
strange piece to dance to:
a dirge, almost a requiem.
The wind moved the
curtains. We danced and
she moved in close, as if
to kiss my neck. It was
not a kiss, however, but
the sweetest damnation.
She took my life, then,
and I felt the vitality ebb
from my throat in a
crimson bloom.
And then she gave
it back.
I had spent eight years becoming a doctor. Fresh
from medical school, I took a job under a friend of the
family, a fellow doctor. Only a year into my practice,
he invited me to a party hosted by one of his patients.
A special patient, he said, one of the few upon whom he
still paid house calls. It was to be a formal affair, a
white-tie party visited by the upper echelon of society.
I was beside myself. After all, I was no more than a
young, inexperienced sawbones; I might as well be a quack or
charlatan as far as society was concerned. I arrived
nervously but on time, and it was there that I met the men
and women — no, those others — who would be my fellows in
the eternal pageant that I was oblivious would follow.
I remember Lady Moltis, a beauty from somewhere in
Europe but who had a reputation as a “black widow”
(only after my death would I learn the significance of
that statement). Mr. Audelia was a queer man who never
looked anyone in the eye and whose body curled in upon
itself at his extremities. Mr. Bennett seemed rustic, but
my hostess assured me that he had power and money far
beyond the suggestion of his simple facade. Mr. Maxwell
had arrived from Chicago and was rumored to be either
one of its rising stars or its fallen scions, depending upon
to whom I spoke. A woman named Lindsay was a scandal,
having never taken a husband “in life” and who
comported herself with little of the propriety that the
rest of the women maintained.
Little did I know then that this was no true party,
but a panoply of monsters. Even my hindsight fails me,
for when I spent those precious few moments with Miss
Lindsay, I recall none of what happened, but I know
now that the liaison was far more than mere
attraction (and that the stain at my wrist probably
didn’t come from a pinching cufflink).
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Another night, another victim; that’s how I look at it.
Motherfuckers don’t want to die, all they have to do is
stay out of my way. “Though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,” yeah,
because I’m the wickedest sonofabitch you’re gonna
find down here.
I don’t draw the line at just normal people, either. I’ll
kill my own kind if I need to. What the fucking
“Kindred” need to understand is that there’s nothing
more important than the place you call your own. Oh,
I’m sure they have some fancy word for me and my kind.
I know their titles and offices and all that bullshit
make a big deal out of who’s responsible for what and
who needs to keep who in line, and motherfuckers like
me are the reason for it all. Someone comes beating
down your door at just a few minutes past sunset, you
know you’re in trouble. Still, making it on your own is
part of what this is. I didn’t sign on for a bunch of new
rules when my goddamn sire Changed me. Shit, that’s half
the reason I cut off his head and drank his soul along
with his blood.
Respect, that’s what I’m saying. It’s about respect.
God knows the fucking Kindred aren’t going to give you
any. You have to take it or make your own.
You don’t know terror, whelp. All that stuff
you’re talking about? That’s just being afraid.
Growing up in your safe little suburbia, how would
you ever know real terror? And now the power of
the Blood makes you feel ever more invincible.
Now that you’re among the Damned, real terror
will find you. You can pray that it doesn’t, but it
will. It found me. Horror — actual, visceral horror
— is here in our precious city. I never want to
see it again, but that’s part of the terror, isn’t
it? I can’t control it. All I can do is hope that
that thing never wants to see me again.
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