Thursday, March 12, 2015

a vampire might, but an artist never could

You aren't sure if it's the hangover that wakes you, but it's certainly hitting you now. The room is still and quiet, and you can hear the creak of the tavern sign above your window. What's the name of this place? They tend to blur together on your travels.
As you blink sleep away you realize the damn elf has wandered off and a vampire is sitting on the foot of your bed. You check your sword belt but it's by the door. No time to reach it.
He grips the edge of your mattress with anemic claws. He turns baleful eyes to you and licks his lips. Raising a scribbled note - surely some demon's hellish ritual - he nervously clears his throat.
"This is only my first draft and is surely abysmal but would you mind reading it?"


So a cannibal author who can live forever is your friend. He never gives his name but will let you call him Byron if it so pleases you. Maybe you have a mutual enemy; maybe you know the same poets; maybe he makes friends with mortals out of romantic idealism. All you know is he shows up every so often to show you his latest work and/or try to bum something to eat.
> once he is your friend he always appears at night when it is the most dramatic but causes him the least trouble - usually just by flying or climbing into your window and abruptly starting to tell you his latest woes.

He will wake you with a poem or chapter of a gothic novel, plus a dramatic dilemma about a lover or rival. (or a polite request for a bite to eat - maybe a little off the ribs just to hold him over; critics these days are vacuous hoodlums and he hasn't been able to sell yet but any day now)
> get some Romantic poetry ready to go. Byron works, but you can just find a collection of Wordsworth or Coleridge and pull something out whenever. Same with gothic books: Bronte or Poe (even darker Dickens???) might work, it depends on the specific feel you want to go for, and how long you want this to take.

If you read his work and your response shows you really "get" it, he is delighted, you are the most delightful soul of this regrettably temporary generation.
> have a short list (<5 items) of details, aspects or qualities of the writing. If the reader remarks on any of them they *definitely* get it. He will now perform a ~Favor~

If you don't get it you are just like the other uncultured cattle.
> roll d6. 1- He attacks in a rage 2 or 3- he just trashes whatever is around right now (usually your bed or camp) 4 thru 6- He sulks and wanders away into the night. Whichever happens he'll be back in 2d6 nights, though, with more verse.

Stuff he is willing to do:
 -fly somewhere. Can carry one creature or big object, or be gaseous. Limit is probably 50 miles, I don't know.
 -lift/break something. He is superstrong but is not a sellout, so he won't serve as a packmule. But like ripping a boulder out of the ground or pulling a giant's door off its hinges or what have you - a single act.
 -impersonate someone for an evening. Essentially alter self, and he is a good actor, but will remain mercurial and prone to melancholy (because he's not a sellout).
 -accompany you somewhere. He won't do anything but walk and talk, but just having a vampire in your retinue can change the tone going in to many encounters. Obviously you need to avoid direct sunlight.

Stuff he will not do:
 -lend you money. He's broker than you. And Bram Stoker than you.
 -make puns of any kind. Though he will sometimes make some vague wordplay that no one understands and think himself terribly clever.
 -talk to his aristocrat dad. Especially to ask for anything. Especially for money. He's no sellout, and father just does't understand the ART of the thing.
 -turn you into a vampire on your first favor. You personally (the character) must repeatedly get his writing, and even that will just open negotiations. Too many icky details to deal with.

If he can't do what's requested he can introduce you to an appropriate fellow artist. If it's out of their ability he will just laugh and fly you to the moon or a misty volcano so you can discuss the fragility of spirits or gossip about deities or some such thing. But there are few things outside of the reach of someone he knows.

A monster art collective. These are either rival artistes to argue with or current/ex lovers to spat with. These are the ones he will complain about but also the ones he can get to help you for a favor. Roll a d6 if it please you.
1. medusa jazz singer. Likely knows full schedule of any nobility or person of note, as well as 50% chance of being able to personally introduce (bonus to reaction)
2. satyr saxophonist. Seduces women constantly. Also generic high level bard abilities, for when you hate bards but need one.
3. wererat Kit Marlowe/revolutionary. Writes plays...and gets killed at some point? Can give you the hookup with political stuff going down, or can whip up a riot in the city of your choice.
4. vision questing goblin reincarnation of William Blake. Just J Depps character from Dead Man but small and green. Will kill basically anyone if convinced it's in his destiny. Also can remove curses or other deity effects by converting you to his extensive alternate cosmology
5. mummified blind composer from the Pyramid Calculative. Makes music like a mix between Bach and prog rock. Like weird polyrhythms and time signatures. Can request probability calculations of future events (treat as an augury) or solve some complex math-type puzzle.
6. this philosophic Nietzsche style half fiend. Can get you in touch with Mephistophiles if you admit he is the ubermensch and show no weakness. That or he will kick ass for you for a day.

Recently I read this and then listened to this, then a little Otto von Chriek slipped in there.

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