Against All Odds
(Note: This is the pack the players belong to.)
The Bloodrunners are the Sabbat pack that has Warrendale as its turf. As of recently, they have been gaining more and more notoriety among the Sabbat of Detroit.
Charles Sterling, Ductus
Agatha Landau, Pack Priest
Roland Chambers, Abbot
Edward “Eddie” Deschain
James R. Smith
Cassandra “Cassie” Wright
History of the Bloodrunners
In 1877, there was a series of upheavals in The Lords of Nothing. Nobody remembers exactly what started it but one thing was clear: certain members of the Lords of Nothing weren’t getting along personally with the rest of the pack. Finally, on June 23rd of that year Roman Castaneda, Luciana Castillo, Charles Sterling, Josef Csenia and Roland Chambers formally left the Lords of Nothing after gathering some other dissenters and formed the Bloodrunners with Roman serving as the first Ductus and Josef serving as the first pack priest. This defection quickly earned the new pack the enmity of the original and things only got worse from there. To this day the Lords and the Bloodrunners despise each other. Complicating matters further, neither pack can simply just kill off the other as the leaders of both packs still hold Vinculums towards each other.
The Bloodrunners’ Ritae
This ritual celebrates the night the Bloodrunners broke away from the Lords of Nothing to found their own pack over a hundred years ago. It takes place on June 23rd. There is always a Vaulderie followed by a Blood feast and a Fire Dance. During the festivities, pack members take turns kneeling on one knee before the Ductus and the Pack Priest, who then proceed to give praise and advice to the pack members.
System: Participants regain a point of spent Willpower. Plus there are the effects of the Vaulderie, Fire Dance and Blood Feast.
Night of the Honored Dead
This ritual is held on the night of the Autumnal Equinox(usually Sept.22 or 23) to honor those members of the Bloodrunners who have died and is considered one of the most sacred rituals the pack performs. First and most importantly, for the entire night no pack member may partake of any blood outside of the Vaulderie. This is to honor those who may no longer feed in this life. The ritual starts with pack members taking time in the Shrine of Ashes to meditate and silently pray to the souls of dead Bloodrunners they were close too. Then they depart to the main ritual chamber for a Vaulderie ceremony. They anoint their faces with white and black ashes from specially prepared ritual bowls and then leave for a solemn Fire Dance, after which a captive mortal is sacrificed by draining all of his or her blood to be tossed into the bonfire. Pack members are not allowed to wash away the ashes until the next night. The night is supposed to be a solemn one and frivolity of any sort is frowned upon.
System: Aside from the effects of the Vaulderie and the Fire Dance, All spent Willpower is replenished as the pack members are filled with a sense of determination to perform acts that would have made their honored dead proud of them.
This ritual is celebrated on August 1st. The purpose is to reaffirm the pack’s rejection of the gods worshipped by mortals. The pack invades a home occupied by mortals and nails all of the occupants to the walls upside down in a reverse crucifixion style. They drain the mortals of their blood while chanting and drawing occult symbols and runes on the walls and floors to confuse police into thinking it to be the work of devil worshippers. A loaf of unleavened bread is brought along and burnt as an offering to Caine at the conclusion of the ritual.
System: All pack members regain all spent Willpower for participating in this ritual.
The Ancient Rite of Midwinter
This ritual takes place on Dec. 23rd and is basically a vampiric version of Yule. First, the pack performs a Vaulderie and cover their faces in black ashes while wearing black clothing. They then run and revel in the streets like lunatics, symbolically taking on the role of the ancient pagan Wild Hunt for a few hours. Oftentimes, they will cause quite a bit of property damage as they vandalize cars, mailboxes, etc. After the evening’s hooliganism they return to the communal haven for a Blood Feast, during which they exchange gifts with one another.
System: Partaking of the ritual replenishes all spent Willpower, plus the effects of the Blood Feast and Vaulderie.
The Ancient Rites of Spring
This ritual takes place on the Spring Equinox(usually March 20th or 21st) and is the only pack ritual that heavily honors Lilith. It is a sort of fertility rite. The pack starts with a Vaulderie. They follow with a frenzied Fire Dance and a Blood Feast, during which there is much chanting of litanies to Lilith invoking her to make the mortal population fertile and bless the pack’s hunting. During the festivities, pack members also often whip each other with scourges until raw and bleeding. This festival is also considered an auspicious night to Embrace new pack members.
System: In addition to the effects of the Vaulderie, Fire Dance and Blood Feast participants replenish all spent Willpower.
The Blood Fast
This ritual may be performed at any time upon request by a pack member wishing to undergo the ritual. The purpose of the ritual is to purify oneself of foolishness and fear in an attempt to gain understanding and self-knowledge. The pack member kneels on one knee before the pack priest who then invokes Cain to guide the participant on his spiritual journey. For one week, the vampire must NOT feed outside of the Vaulderie and even then may only drink as much blood as he gave to the ritual chalice. He must also meditate for two hours before going to sleep during the day or he fails the ritual.
System: Succeeding at this ritual grants a temporary point of Pack Recognition which lasts until the next esbat, as well as possibly justifying a permanent increase of such traits as Willpower, Path Rating, Courage, etc.
The Blood Run
This ritual is held on Oct.13th. It is a contest to determine which vampire is the best hunter in the pack. After a Vaulderie, the pack members go their separate ways for the night to hunt mortals(or enemy vampires or lupines if such are stumbled upon). Everyone returns an hour or two before sunrise with tokens of the hunt and brags of his exploits while hunting.
System: For every two hours, all members of the pack roll Perception+Streetwise vs. Difficulty of 7. Success are kept track of. Should an enemy vampire be killed, add 3 successes. Add 5 successes for a dead lupine. At the end of the night, the vampire with the most successes wins and is awarded some sort of prize by the pack priest.
The Grand Blood Run
This is a FAR more serious version of the Blood Run in that the object isn’t to hunt down mortals or enemies. In this week long ritual, the Bloodrunners hunt down and diablerize…each other. This is to weed out those who are too weak or not cunning enough to survive. It starts in the first day of April and lasts for one week. Pack members prepare private havens in advance of the ritual.
System: Pack members may simply choose to hide from the rest of the pack and no dishonor is accorded for doing so. However, the only way to win the Grand Blood Run is to diablerize a packmate. The Communal Haven is considered neutral ground during this ritual and diablerie is prohibited there but anywhere else is fair game. This ritual is so serious that it is held only once every 13 years.
The Kiss of Fire
This ritual is voluntary and may be enacted at any time upon request. It is a trial of willpower and courage and can also function as a vision quest. First, a mortal is abducted and forced to partake of hallucinogenics such as peyote or psychedelic mushrooms in doses high enough to cause overdose. The vampire undergoing this ritual meditates until ready and then drinks the blood of said mortal and begins to trip hard. Then the pack priest starts to chant invocations while the rest of the pack restrains and slowly burns him to a crisp using whatever methods are available. It usually takes about 3-4 hours during which the petitioner vampire tries not to scream or otherwise cry out. The purpose of this ritual is strengthen the celebrant’s willpower, courage, and self knowledge.
System: Each half hour, the petitioner vampire loses a health level of aggravated damage until reaching Incapacitated. As each level is lost, he must make a Courage roll vs. difficulty 8 to avoid crying out. If he fails, he is considered to have failed the ritual and is released from it to suffer the jeers and scorn of his pack. He must also make a roll of Intelligence+Meditation vs. difficulty 10 to enter a hallucinogenic trance at each wound level. If he enters this trance, he becomes unaware of his physical surroundings and need no longer roll to avoid crying out. This trance is considered a good omen. Succeeding at this ritual grants a temporary point of Pack Recognition which lasts until the next esbat, as well as possibly justifying a permanent increase of such traits as Willpower, Path Rating, Courage, etc.
The Night of Lore and Wit
This Ritual is a night of storytelling and can be held on any night the pack priest decides is fitting but at least once a year. First, there is a Valulderie. Next, a Blood Feast is consecrated. During the Blood Feast, pack members take turns telling stories of Cainite lore.
System: This is mainly handled through roleplaying. Each pack member tells a vampiric story. The stories need not be true but should be as entertaining and believable as possible. They can be symbolic or literal. The pack priest will often notify the pack ahead of time so that they may prepare a story in advance. A point of spent Willpower is replenished for participation in this ritual, as well as the effects of the Vaulderie and Blood Feast.
The Night of Smoke and Fire Purification
This ritual is held on February 2nd(Imbolc) to commemorate the first stirrings of Spring. The pack members perform a Vaulderie before taking turns washing their hands and faces in a ritual bowl filled with purified water. Each of them then has an inverted ankh branded into their flesh with a hot branding iron. The pack priest then lights a stick of burning sage and censes each member with it. The purpose of these actions is to purge their minds of fear. They then hold a Fire Dance. For the entire night, no member is allowed to drink blood outside of the Vaulderie lest they fail the ritual.
System: Being branded causes a wound level of Aggravated Damage and requires a Courage roll vs. Difficulty 7 to go through with it. Additionally, the pack members are not allowed to heal this damage until the next evening. All who successfully complete the ritual regain all spent Willpower. Additionally, there are also the effects of the Vaulderie and Fire Dance.
This ritual comes in multiple parts and is celebrated on May 1st. First, there is a Vaulderie. Second, a Fire Dance is held. For the third part, a mortal is sacrificed to Caine, Lilith and Uriel by being burned alive. Finally, a Blood Feast is performed. The purpose of this ritual is a way of giving thanks to Caine for giving them the “gift" and rebirth of vampirism.
System: A point of spent Willpower is regained at the conclusion of this ritual, along with the effects of the Fire Dance, Blood Feast and Vaulderie.