GURPS High Fantasy
Notable & Obvious Advantages
Appearance and Social Traits:
Enhanced Tracking 4
High Pain Threshold
Notable & Obvious Disadvantages
Appearance and Social Traits:
Easy to Read
OPH tinker with gizmos
Birthdate: 30 years ago
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Black
Profession: Craftsman, Vampire
Skin Color: Caucasian
Is necessity truly the mother of invention? For Cortez it was the mother of retaliation. Spurned once too often by the cruelty of tyrants in positions of power only by birth right and not merit or worth this inventor of children’s toys turned his creativity to violent ends in the name of justice for actions.
Born a mild man of modest means to a lone father and toy makers but possessing a unique gift of creativity, Cortez demonstrated to his father early that he possessed a flare for the unusual. The toys once made for him, Cortez took apart to understand and started to assemble into new things. Over and over he recreated the curious. Always with a tool in hand tinkering on something his father would often ask, “What is it son?” A young Cortez would simply smile “I’m not sure yet Papa, but I will know soon when it’s done.”
One very late night a visitor came to the family shop. At first his father told the stranger they shop was closed. The stranger returned a wicked smile and father dismissed Cortez to converse with the stranger alone. Some scuffling was heard and some argument. The only words that were clear when the sounds died down was the voice of the stranger saying “Do we have a deal?” and the faint ring of the shops bells as someone departed.
The next few months saw conditions in the kingdom improve with greater treatment by the Menarche to their subjects and business owners. But with this change in fortune Cortez’s fathers health began to quickly spiral downward. Within the year the kind man of childlike things was departed.
The mantle was taken up by young Cortez. With his father gone the family business was now his alone, no more family he entered a solitary life. His talent for reinventing common toys into the unusual was a delight to the community. He grew up quickly, he grew up strong and he grew very popular. A few years later the health of the local King also fell hard. The spoiled son of the Monarch didn’t even wait for the burial before he had himself sworn in as the new King. His father’s body wasn’t even cold when he dawned his new crown.
A rein of tyranny began the very next day. Back were the rules of old designed to invoke misery in a peaceful kingdom. Whispers of revolution circled but harsh retribution came to those caught saying such things. But what could be done? The answer came later that winter when the late night stranger again paid a visit to the shop. Who you are and what do you want were the questions on the lips of a grown Cortez, a toy maker like his father before him.
But instead the figure stood in silence. The stranger broke the stillness after a long pause. He towered high over Cortez even now that he was grown. “Things are returning to despair in the kingdom. Such is not natural and it effects more than you know toy maker.” He paused again before continuing; “Life has lost its sweet taste, someone should do something. Would you agree?”
“I am not sure what you wish here sir but I don’t believe we sell it anymore.”
“You have your fathers’ heart young one.”
“I now also have his shop sir and unless you’re here to buy I wish you to leave.”
The man turned and flashed that wicked smile full of past memories. Cortez saw his teeth were unusually long and a couple were quite sharp. There was apprehension. “Your father was a man of great compassion who could not take the injustice of a kingdom of cruelty, I offered him the power to change his fortunes and the fortunes of all who dwell here. As my servant he haunted the royals until the sweet taste of this Kingdom returned to my liking. Did you know sorrow has a taste? It is a foul taste indeed. Things have returned to the old ways and it sours the life feed upon. It’s simple really boy, you give me what I need and I give you the power to change this kingdoms fortune. In the end we both win. At the end of the season if the sweetness has returned I shall set you free.”
The heat must have jumped 20 degrees, Cortez could feel the sweat begin to drip. Who and what was the stranger? “I can see you have your doubts my friend,” the stranger said. “I will give you one week to think it over. I shall return by light of the next full moon for your answer.” And with that he departed.
The childhood memories returned. On that night so long ago the conditions of kingdom were as they are now. Once again a Tyrant rules the throne, the people suffer injustice, but now it seems a new secret is understood. The peace of the kingdom comes with a price. The kingdom is a feeding ground for a creature of night. This dark entity desired a sweetness to his blood that only content could breed.
Cortez spent the next few days in the kingdom Library researching the stranger. What he concluded was difficult to believe. The week passed and true to his word the stranger returned by the light of the full moon.
“I know what you are Vampire. I’ll not be your prey.”
“Your father was a brave man, being my servant changed this kingdom for the greater good as well as for me. Now it is your turn young one. Your research has paid off young one, you are right but knowing changes nothing. This realm has been mine for generations but I savor the sweet taste of happiness. I will have happiness. You can be just a victim or you can be my servant and be the reason peace returns to my lands. The choice is yours but be swift, for I hunger and shall not wait much longer.”
“You preyed upon my father didn’t you? You used him to change this place did you not?”
“I did, he chose wisely to serve. That is why I knew his practical teachings would help you to see logic thus I have returned. You’re looking at this all wrong boy, I offer you a chance. I offer you the power to make the difference as my servant.”
“To be your servant comes at a price.”
“Indeed but not for some time and it will be for the greater good. Think of all those who will live greater lives small sacrifice. The alternative is much bleaker.” A wicked grin again crossed the stranger’s lips.
“It seems I am left with little choice. I cannot escape a creature such as you. I cannot over power you. And I do not wish to die. I chose this, like my father before me.” Cortez stepped close to the creature and presented himself.
“You will not regret you choice, the power I offer you will let you return this kingdom to a peaceful state once again. Once I take your blood, I will offer you drops of my own, you will be my servant and share a portion of my power. Not a full turning so you shall not fear the daylight. I shall return each fortnight for my payment and your follow up instructions.”
The bite was painful at first but the young toy maker endured. The plan was working so far. The research Cortez had discovered indicated that the difference between a servant and a full turning was not to talk a simple few offered drops but to bite back and feed in return. But of course it was all theory and if it did not work than the monster would kill him for sure. When the stranger went to cut only a trickle of blood for Cortez to sample and create the ghoul blood bonding; that was his moment to strike and bit into the stranger!
A scream of pain echoed, “No! What are you doing?”
“You killed my father, why suffer as your ghoul and your slave with only a portion of your power to change this kingdom I love when I can gain all of your power change my homeland and rid it of a monster like you?” The words seemed cold even to Cortez as the breached his ruby stained lips but to avenge his father and stop this tyrannical monarchy was too much to pass up in the face of otherwise certain death.
But why take such a new gift and change only one kingdom for the better when injustice rules many kingdoms across this land. His home had suffered a vampires feeding ground for too long. Cortez did use his new power to change his realm, then he left it. His home had been a nocternal feeding ground long enough. It was time they knew real peace. It was time to travel. More kingdoms suffer oppression, and so the adventure began. First with his own town then on to his travels to help where he could.