Thousand Year Old Vampire can be purchased in physical form and PDF on Indie Press Revolution and digital form on itch.io, if you wish to purchase this amazing game. Tim Hutchings, the creator of this experience, can be found on Twitter.
This is the story of the vampire who was born Marus Taelon.
Marus was the son of Byron and Malinda. Byron, his father, was a terrible drunk that made a living cleaning stables. Nearly everything he earned was spent in a local tavern. Marus’ mother, Malinda, lived a hard life. She was raised by a fiercely religious father who mentally and physically abused her. Her husband also took his alcoholism-infused rages out upon her. She spent her life doting on her son in search of the affection she had been denied all her years. Marus was taught how to fight and use a sword from his father’s father. When Marus became a soldier for the King, his grandfather gifted him with his own sword.
Marus was fascinated with the forest and all that lived in it. He also enjoyed hunting and could skin even the largest of beasts in minutes. When he took it upon himself to hunt a wolf that was terrorizing their small patch of land, Marus found an old Roman coin in the wolf’s stomach and kept it for luck. When he wasn’t out in the forest looking for his family’s next meal, Marus also had a weakness for consumption. He often met his friend Thomas Brower at the inn and they usually drank until closing time or were thrown out for instigating fights. One night, a passing merchant agreed to a drinking challenge from Marus. The wager was his own sword versus a beautiful silver locket owned by the merchant. That necklace was now one of Marus’ most prized possessions.
A mysterious figure began appearing in town night after night and drew the attention of Marus almost immediately. He was tall, broad shouldered, and was intoxicatingly beautiful. Soon the two began to meet regularly. Marus felt a strong connection to the man who called himself Gaius. One night, Gaius talked Marus into a midnight stroll through the forest. When they found a clearing, far from town, they joined together in a passionate embrace. Marus, drunk on ale and lost to the man’s kisses, could not have known of Gaius’ true intentions and barely stirred when fangs were pushed deep into his neck. The rest was a blur to Marus, but bits and pieces stood out above the rest. He vaguely remembers Gaius whispering into his ear while Marus from his own wrist. Gaius, not expecting Marus to recover so quickly, could not predict the fight his newly turned companion would put up. The two battled violently and finally Gaius had to retreat, but not before raking sharp claws across Marus’ face destroying his right eye and leaving a long jagged scar.
And, with that, Marus had become a vampire.
*In your blood-hunger you destroy someone close to you. Kill a mortal Character. Create a mortal if none are available. Take the skill Bloodthirsty.*
Marus stumbled home and managed to get through the door just as his father was in the process of slapping his mother across the room. His father turned sharply and began shouting expletives at Marus. He screamed and cursed, spittle dotting the pale face of his son. Marus caught an incoming blow and twisted just enough for his father’s bones to rip through the flesh of his arm. As Byron screamed, he told his mother to leave and not come back until the following morning. When the door closed, he grabbed a nearby cutting knife and cut deeply into his father’s neck. Marus moaned as he drank from the pulsing artery and lapped up nearly all the blood that gushed from the wound.
*Your body manifests some trait related to the vampire that created you. How do you become more like them? Create a Skill that reflects this.*
As the days and nights passed, Marus’ physical form began to change. Having peaked at five-and-a-half-feet early in life, he rises almost an additional foot. He widens and the muscles in his body become stronger and visually prominent. He notices that his looks also changed. While not an unattractive man, his face became nearly as beautiful as Gaius. Even the scar, while not fading, softened and was less repulsive and more alluring. His mother did not speak of the transformation. She, for the first time in her life, seemed happy.
*People see a horror in you that you cannot perceive in yourself. What Mark do you possess that you do not know about? Create a Mark and a suspicious mortal who has seen it. What name do the people call you when your back is turned?*
In addition to his physical changes, something in Marus was corrupted. Instead of tears in his eyes, everyone saw blood. Having felt bonded to Gaius, he could not forget the betrayal he suffered at the hands of his creator and dwelt upon it constantly. His fascination with the vampire bordered obsession. His crimson weepiness was first noticed by the town mayor, Charles Weller, upon questioning of his father’s whereabouts. After some gossiping chatter, the people of the town began to call him The Demon behind his back.
*You are recognized for what you are by another creature like yourself. Create an immortal Character, lose a Resource and gain a Skill. What did you lose to them?*
One evening, Marus felt a powerful presence hunting him through the forest while he himself was tracking down a pack of wolves terrorizing the countryside. The hunter turned out to be a vampire named Lucius from the time of ancient Rome. He claimed Marus had something of his and attacked. Marus tried to escape, as he was no match for this being, but could not lose him. It wasn’t until Marus threw the Roman coin he had always carried on him away into a nearby pond and buried himself into mud did Lucius veer off and leave him be.
*Generations of the same family serve you. This line starts from any living mortal Character, or from the descendants of a dead mortal Character. What bizarre rituals do they tie to their servitude? Lose a Resource and create a Servitors of the Lineage Resource.*
Nearly a century had passed, when Marus was approached by a group of men and women claiming to be the descendants of his old friend Thomas Brower. How they found him and knew of his secret, Marus did not know. They pledged themselves to serve him. On the nights when the moon was full, they used a replica sword of the one Marus’ grandfather had gifted him and sliced open the neck of a virgin for his consumption. It made Marus reminisce of the sword he lost some time ago in his travels and the man who was like a second father to him.
*Some mortals have banded together to hunt you, well-armed and wise to your tricks. How do you defeat or evade them? Create a mortal hunter related to one of your checked Skills. Check a Skill.*
Marus was awoken early one evening to the sounds of shouting and fighting. His quarters were breached and an angry mob of townspeople led by Greggory Brower, a former familiar from his servants, charged in to destroy him. They swarmed Marus, swinging crude farm tools and clubs down upon him. Marus barely escapes with his life, as he dives out the window and plummets to the road below. In the commotion, he loses his treasured silver locket he won from a merchant long ago. Greggory now wears it around his neck as a symbol of victory.
*While traveling you come into conflict with another immortal. Gain a Mark. Who are they? What trick did you play upon them? Create a new immortal Character.*
Marus flees his home and sets out into the countryside. He comes across a traveling band of entertainers camping. Still in a fowl mood, he kills them all. Stumbling amongst the trees, intoxicated on the copious amount of blood he ingested, he finds a young pale woman with fangs in a struggling fawn. Still feeling wicked, he makes the young vampire, Gwenith, believe she can have the home he just abandoned. She kisses his left hand in kindness, which forever would leave a bloody impression upon it.
*You master a strange new science or field of knowledge. How does your vampire nature give you special insight into these studies? Create an appropriate Skill based on a Memory.*
Marus finds a new home in a bustling city where he begins experiments on the human body. Trying to find a way to sate his appetite for blood, he takes his victims to a deep cellar in his new home and takes them completely apart. He eats their organs, the fluids within any of them there is to consume, and eventually makes a breakthrough with bone marrow. He discovers a way to cultivate it in good quantities and that it actually curbs the hunger that calls to his body and mind.
*You are forced to adopt a new name. Why?*
Stumbling home after draining an entire theater troupe, a soldier stops the vampire and asks him his name. He also asked him why he was covered in blood. He said he lost a fight, but he truly could not remember his own name. It had somehow completely vanished from his memory. Racking his mind, he said his name was William Tanner. The soldier let him go but told him to head straight home. William thanked the man, and went on his way. He didn’t know why he couldn’t remember his name. It was William. It’s always been William.