Vampires & Veggieburgers

The Trail of Blood

Home Invasion

When Elli returns to the hippy commune after a tutoring job, it is unusually quiet.

Because the vampires had got there first, bluffed and bullied an invite out of any flatmates that were in, and were snacking on them whilst they wait.

When Tyr, a heavily built bruiser even by the standard of a vampire gang, approaches from the kitchen, she tries to cast a spell to sap his strength – but it backfires, and at the moment of contact she collapses like a rag doll.

In the Council’s base, Regina has a vision of Elli in danger.

Before the vampire grabs her, Elli manages to mumble the retreat spell that the Pythagoreans had given her before the stake out – teleporting her to the street outside. Using telekinesis, she tries to block the flatshare door onto the street with some dumpsters, but they’re thrown aside by the vampires.

Elli takes a risk to repeat the retreat spell, and hides in the leather goods shop that (ironically) occupies the ground floor beneath the flatshare.

By now, Regina has alerted the rest of the team, called Elli, and is sharing a motorbike to the flat with watcher Matthew Parks.

Regina charges up the stairs to the flatshare, and retreats in the face of the vampires.

The rest of the team (including Nuria) arrive, and this escalates into pitched street battle, with Regina and Fergus shooting their crossbow and (holy) water pistol from inside the leather shop.

Patty swiftly turns into were form – but one of the vampires meets her claw with a stuffed badger claw, and she turns back into a human!

Regina goes into the street to cut off Tyr’s advance. Outmatched, the best she can do is hold him off, but she can’t even do that for long. She’s grabbed and about to be bitten …

… when Fergus runs up behind Tyr, and swings his sword through his neck. (Fergus was a weapons geek before he was a fighter against the supernatural).

When Try dusts, it ends Elli’s spell and restores her strength.

With Nuria’s help, and a great deal of effort, our heroes kill the other three vampires, and race back indoors and upstairs. Elli’s friends are barely conscious and have lost a lot of blood but – (because they were hostages) – are still alive.1

Although the PC’s won’t know it until they read about it in the news a few days later, this marks the effective end of X2. Their leader, Alfred, is alive, but he’s lost all its heavies – and it’s hard to maintain a climate of fear when you were shown up by a vegan food bus.

Most of Elli’s flatmates were out at a birthday party, but they soon have second thoughts about sharing a flat with someone who is mixed up in dangerous feuds with bitey drugged-up gangs, and schedule a house meeting.

Confronting the Corporation

Meanwhile, Fergus turns up more circumstantial evidence linking Bethton Abbatoir to Terralith Eco – its products turn up unusually often, for example, in the hardware and supplies used for the illicit blood trade.

They share the evidence with the Council. The Council swiftly shares it with their allies in Terralith Eco, who claim to be horrified and invite the vegan investigators over as they confront the culprit.

(By the time the PCs arrive at Terralith Eco’s offices in the City of London, Fergus has hacked into their buliding network and can control many automated systems. This is in parenthesis because you’d expect nothing less.)

The charm offensive is led by Dawn Shepherd, their “community engagement officer”, who offers to give their food bus Kickstarter double the amount of money they were looking for. Plus, as an example of the kind of devices they supply the Council with, some networked vampire-detection webcams.2

But Dawn isn’t so keen no having the entire PC team witness the arrest. Patty might have been invited. [Cannot remember] Elli casts a glamour over herself to look like a random member of staff, and Fergus sets up the camera to show a loop of the meeting room.

The Terralith Eco board goes into a basement to where their paranormal laboratories area. They admit to experiments with vampire blood, but claim to be horrified at the allegation of illicit sourcing, synthesis, and use.

They get to the large open-plan lab where the computer sits that ostensibly3 received the encrypted message from the vampire gang. The computer’s owner, startled, mutters something about not pinning this on him -

- when a swirling portal opens behind him and a large clawed demon pulls him into it.

Meanwhile, Elli gets into a fight trying to get past the guards into the lab. Patty goes were. Fergus uses his control of the building to lock and open doors to let them get out.

And they still get the donation to The Stake Out.


At the house meeting to discuss her status, Elli successfully argues that they’re a lot safer with her around to protect them.

Flash forward to Stake Out’s launch party, several weeks later.

Regina is going to rejoin the Council. She warns the other PCs that although the protective powers of the Shelter of the Elect won’t attract supernatural creatures to the omnibus, she might have done. Her arrival through time would have weakened the barriers between this world and others – not as much as a hellmouth, but still likely to attact some vampires and demons.

But nothing a Pythagorean and adept and a were-badger can’t deal with.

1 I expected the party to rescue hostages and run away, not fight a pitched battle. But the nice thing about the drama points system is that it gives more agency to the players: they can fight overwhelming odds and either spend a drama point to escape, or lots of drama points to pull off an odds-defying victory.

2 This is a fairly cheap and mundane device. Because vampires don’t cast a reflection, all the anti-vampire webcam needs to do is reflect half the incoming light onto a second sensor, and compare the two images.

3 Fergus was in a position to double-check this.

The Stake Out
Showdown in a slaughterhouse

In the overgrown grounds of Bethton Abbatoir, our heroes lie waiting by the door for the X2 vampires to turn up. That’s Regina Torpington-Fortescue (Esq) (crossbow) (with Nuala the Vampire Slayer from The Council), Fergus (water pistols), Patty Hakuta (werebadger), and Eleftheria (“Elli”) (stakes).

But X2 are forewarned, and lying in wait too.


When the first two vampires arrive, Fergus (who swings between cowardice and recklessness) decides to charge them. Our heroes swiftly fight their way through into the relative safety of the slaughterhouse. Fergus links up his supply of holy water to the sprinkler system, and with his control over the doors manages to trap the pursuing vampires in the small slaughterhouse entryhall whilst dousing them. This weakens the half-dozen vampires, but does not kill them.

This buys our heroes time to barricade themselves in a butchery/processing room. When the vampires try to break through, Elli uses a protective spell to keep them back while others run interference. One gets through, and manages to feed on were-form Patty before he’s slain; and with another fatality the vampires retreat.

This is a crime gang, not fanatical devotees of evil who care nothing for their survival.

Their leader, an old-fashioned bowler-hatted cockney, appears at the other door with the shadow humanoid (Tsoudain’a) and, apparently held hostage, Blair. He negotiates a truce – he’ll let them go if they’ll “call off the slayer”. Neither side intends to keep it, but both sides want to live to see the morning – and X2 have an ace in the hole.

On the way home, Patty, with her enhanced were-badger senses, comments on just how bad Blair smells.

But it’s when they (minus Regina) meet in the bus the next evening that Fergus notices that Blair doesn’t cast a reflection in the bus window.

“Two things”, Fergus says, firstly patiently describing the email link he’s found from X2 to Terralith Eco‘s network, before dramatically adding (with pointed finger) “and Blair is a vampire!”. Elli holds Blair in place with a spell, and Blair tries to argue his vampiric case as someone who mainly feeds on meat-eating fast food managers. (Vampires aren’t the best at making ethical arguments.) He flees the bus – through the upper window. But Patty grabs him, follows him out of the window, and transforms in mid-air.


Elli freezes Blair in place, and Patty tears the vampire that replaced their friend to dust.

Later Fergus examines the odd cylinder that Blair was carrying. Its gradated, slowly rotating, lid seems to be counting down to something. Fergus examines it in his workshop, and discovers it’s a flask that was counting down to opening. With blood – that on further investigation is based on cow blood, but contains substances that could be addictive and willpower-sapping.

Someone seems to be trying to create a biddable army of vampires.

Researching & Planning

The characters try to get to grips with the new world they now find themselves in.

Eleftheria (“Elli”) is exhausted from the previous day’s spellcasting, and sleeps through her alarm, setting off late for her day job. This leaves Regina, who is staying with Elli at her hippy flatshare / commune, trying to work out what to do with the 21st century.

She investigates the site of the old Watcher’s Council building, to find a modern office block belonging to corporation Terralith Eco, and a plaque to the demise of the City of London Scholastic Society in 1999. With digging, this supposedly defunct organisation turns out to be the cover for the Watcher’s successor, The Council. She’s led through King’s Cross St. Pancreas underground to their base under the British Library. (QV Canon.)

The cameras that Fergus, Elli, and Blair planted in Bethton Abbatoir send back footage of staff bleeding cattle (amongst other things).

Fergus had hacked into Bethton Abbatoir‘s computer systems, and he succeeds in penetrating office networks and mobile phones before he sees a humanoid demon made of pure shadow (Tsoudain’a) spotting the camera. Not long after, Fergus is locked out of the office network.

Meanwhile, Patty Hakuta takes the lead on launching the crowdfunding campaign for the vegan food bus.

Fergus identifies when the vampires will again visit Bethton Abbatoir – the following Sunday, and so plans a stake-out with Patty, Elli, and Regina.

They invite Blair – but don’t realise that X2 have already tracked him down, ambushed him after a demo, and turned him into a vampire.

PCs discover each other's powers & a magic bus

Bethton Abbatoir

Fergus, Blair, and Elli investigate Bethton Abbatoir:

  • Fergus electronically picks the lock
  • They have time to investigate and discover evidence of abuse.
  • Two newcomers arrive, and they hide.
  • Their are a pair of vampires from X2, and collect blood
  • Elli realises they are vampires, and tries to warn her mundane friends.
  • After the vampires leave, the PCs go through the office
  • The office has more incriminating material, including a metal symbol of X2, and a large cash sum (£500).
  • Blair steals the money for vegan projects.

The Vegan Food Bus Organising Committee

Later that day, many of the same people meet to talk about plans for a new vegan food bus, along with other involved volunteers. Patty knows that an existing food bus, ‘Roast Coach’, is looking to sell.

Before long, they start noticing translucent coloured giant serpents following them out of the corner of their eyes. They don’t know it yet, but these are Osarlox tracking Demons, sent by X2 to track down their money.

Patty leads the investigation of the potential bus, and its reputation:

  • As being haunted by the “blue lady”
  • And being home to a series of failed ventures, all with very bad food reviews.

So Elli conducts a seance in Duxton Castle to talk to the ghostly “blue lady” (with Fergus and Patty. (Elli’s ability to cast spells stopped being a surprise at around the same time they starting being chased by transparent serpents.) But she doesn’t find the blue lady. Instead her spell summons local Victorian ghost Mary Ellis, who recounts her life story and insists the ‘blue lady’, seen floating around the bus ever since it got here, is not a ghost but something else.

Fight vs Serpents

Blair reports being chased by the serpents, and he (and they) converge on Duxton Castle. In the ensuing fight:

When the demons have been fought off, the ‘blue lady’ introduces herself as Regina Torpington-Fortescue (Esq), identifying the creature formerly known as Patty Hakuta as a Were-badger.

Were-Patty isn’t aggressive. Elli uses a glamour to disguise her as a large dog, and follow her to a park where she digs a large sett. When Patty recovers she is surprised to discover that turning into a large animal when angry isn’t actually that normal.

Vegan cupcakes don’t wait for supernatural revelations, and the vegan food bus organisers (Patty, Elli, Fergus, and some others) decide to buy the bus. And so that’s where they are (with Regina, who has many questions about the 100+ years she missed) when X2 catch up with them.

Fight vs Vampires

A half-dozen vampires attack the bus through the front door. But our heroes quickly discover that when their blows land on vampires, they only hurt themselves. And that that the same goes from the vampires themselves to the point where one of them manages to dust themselves.

The vampires retreat, both demanding the handover of the thief (Blair), and offering a peace treaty (“I’m a businessman”), but perplexed.

Regina, who combines a sixth sense with a mastery of arcane lore, suggests that the artefact The Shelter of the Elect, which was protecting her in 19th century India, somehow got incorporated into the (Indian) bus, which would explain why she materialised there. The artefact’s strong protection against violence might even affect food preparation – it senses an omnivorous dish as an act of violence, albeit a smaller one, for which the pushback is merely spoiling the dish.