The Retainers' Revolt: A Plot Hook for your Chronicle

Most Suitable For: Vampire

There was a ghoul once who sought to understand the complexity of the undead condition. He served his vampire master faithfully, and in his spare time, he pored over countless occult texts for years, secretly becoming a powerful necromancer of sorts. When his power was discovered by his master, he was killed, eliminating a potential threat to the master and to the kindred of the city. But death was not the end for him.

A few years pass before a stranger enters the city. He immediately begins sowing discontent among the ranks of the mortal retainers, those who served the kindred and know a little too much about them. He knows every retainer and each of their domitors, and whispers to each of them as they sleep, fomenting rebellion and bringing hidden evils to light. The stranger is even able to pervert the chains of the blood bond, turning obsessive love into burning hate.

Before long, the kindred of the city find themselves worried every time they go to sleep, wondering if the rebellion has reached their doorstep. If the stranger is murdered, another rises in his place. If the entire lot of ghouls in the city is murdered and replaced, the fires of rebellion stir in their hearts as well. The necromancer, dead though he may be, will not be denied his revenge.

This game works well within the setting of any edition of VtM, and provides a different host of plot threads that can be used for each edition. For example, in the new edition of the game (V5), the retainers could easily go talk to the local agents of the Second Inquisition; in Revised Ed., the elders would be more present, and might recall the similarities between this instance and the nights of the first Inquisition and the burning times, when mortals rose en masse to destroy the kindred, and mostly did so while they slept. The idea of the necromancer is included in this story to ensure that monstrous player characters don't just kill the unruly upstarts and move on with their lives. The chronicle could theoretically play out fine without it, but it gives the Storyteller some level of safety net.

Should the Retainers' Revolt be used, it has the likelihood of drastically impacting the future of your chronicle, leaving a lasting fear in your players (who will hopefully think twice before they treat a Mortal servant wrongly). It should be used to underscore the fact that the ghouls, allies, contacts, etc are living, breathing human beings. Proceed with caution and don't be afraid to take the lives of NPC kindred as well as mortals.