Steve & I were suffering FoD withdrawal symptoms, so we set aside an evening away from the club, here follows the saga that unfolded. It was Steve's turn to be the Count.
6 November 1898
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - Eight years ago to this very day, I and a group of people who were to become close friends, battled a fiend from hell, the vampire count Dracula. In doing so, we suffered casualties, my wife’s dear friend Lucy Westernra, her mother and Quincey Morris who fell during the final confrontation with the count. We thought ourselves triumphant, moved on with our lives and it was a great joy that exactly one year later, Mina presented me with a son, who we named Quincey in memory of our fallen friend.
But now, by some unnatural circumstance, the count has returned and is again intent on destroying us and creating a dark dominion, encompassing all Europe and perhaps beyond, so now, on young Quincey’s seventh birthday, we must resume the hunt for the evil that we thought destroyed. We have been taken by surprise so are totally unequipped for the tasks ahead. While I remain at home in Exeter, looking after Quincey, coordinating efforts and doing research the others have split up and spread out over Europe and will have to equip as they go, for there is no time to spare. Arthur (Lord Godalming) has arrived in Granada, while Jack Seward has taken the short trip to Manchester, the professor, still so much energy in his ancient body will spend the night in Bari, while my beloved Mina has travelled to Szeged. All have agreed to note down their experiences as they have the chance and I will compile these notes if they survive, hopefully they will be of use to any future hunters should the need again arise.
Lord Godalming’s Journal- I rode quickly at the crack of dawn to reach Madrid, where I was able to find a telegraph office, my agents in the nearby towns and cities report that there has been no sign of the count so far, I must now press on to catch the train, I should reach Bordeaux by Noon.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I arrived in Budapest, which is a magnificent city, the native peoples in these parts give far more credence to the matters that we pursue and I have been able to locate a stake and Sacred bullets, which should prove of great help in our quest.
Doctor Seward’s Diary-I find myself somewhat at a loss, without my phonograph to record these thoughts, but I fear that the bulk would be a grave disadvantage in any confrontation with the dark forces. If I should not return from this endeavour, I hope that if anyone finds these pages they will be able to read my Doctor’s scrawl well enough that they may continue the fight.
Northern England is very quiet and I have travelled to Liverpool and back to Manchester without incident. The only equipment that I have found has been 2 pistols, which at least may be of use against the human agents, which Dracula has used on many past occasions.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Arrived in Rome, the eternal city, much I would wish to explore this magnificent place more, but there is no time. I find no indication of any evil presence in this most holy place, but I take the chance to acquire Holy Water at St. Peter’s.
A message from friend Jonathan. He discover that Immanuel Hildesheim, who played a part in the Count’s previous travel plans eight years ago, has again been pressed into the dark one’s service. We must be prepared for any new plots that he may lay before us.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I have arrived in Vienna, all is quiet, but the Newspaper suggests that the Count was in Barcelona last night. I have passed this onto Arthur via Jonathan.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - I have received a communication from the authorities in Bordeaux, who have detained Arthur and I suspect that this is due to some evil scheme of Dracula. I have been able to clear matters up and Arthur may now proceed, but vital time may have been lost.
Jack has returned to London and will shortly take ship to Europe, while the professor has taken a fast train to Milan.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I fear that the Count is using his Dark influence upon me I am sure that he is aware of my travels as I return to Budapest.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - Finally free of the gullible fools in Bordeaux, I caught a train to Paris. The count has been here and in the Shadow of Notre Dame I was set upon by one of his assassins. Overconfident I thought I would vanquish him easily, but having been shot twice; I was forced to escape, sorely wounded. I must get away from here to rest.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I cannot escape the dark influence and the count is surely still tracking my movements as I again return to Vienna.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - The count has set sail, but I do not so far know either his departure point or where he will land. Arthur is resting in Bordeaux, after his encounter with the count’s henchman.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - I landed at Le Havre and was immediately set upon. I have just missed the count and it must have been his ship leaving the harbour as mine entered. I easily despatched the count’s agent, although I suffered a slight flesh wound. This will not affect my further efforts, but the time lost in this fight has curtailed any useful efforts I may have made for the moment.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I reached Munich and thought that I had shaken off the dark influence, but as I thought to take a short rest, I was visited by one of the count’s dark minions. I escaped, but am slightly wounded, still I must press on, the world must be cleansed of the evil one, and this time it must be for good.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I have taken a train to join Jack in Le Havre. The good doctor has aided in my recovery and has now travelled on to Nantes in case the count should be sailing in that direction.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - I travel to Marseilles via Geneva, both are quiet. Reaching the French coast I send out scouts who confirm the count’s presence in Toulouse and Clermont Ferrand, where he has contaminated the local soil, I now travel there in haste, as this evil scheme is close to coming to fruition. I meet a friend, who lend me a rifle, I hope it be of use in my future work.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - The count is unnaturally fast and having made landfall has apparently already set off on the road to his next destination and the time is still barely past midnight. I fear that we have lost him if we do not act quickly.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I have taken the train back to Bordeaux on my way back to Spain in case the count should have docked at Lisbon or Cadiz. Scouts report no suspicious activity in Edinburgh or Hamburg and Jonathan reports that Mina is heading north in case he should have come ashore at Amsterdam, Jack is heading for Ireland.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Curse Dracula! As he was able to detain Lord Godalming in Bordeaux, now I am myself forcibly detained here in Marseilles. I am unable to reach Clermont Ferrand to purify the count’s taint on the soil, because of his seemingly unearthly swiftness and when I seek to take train north to aid Madame Mina, I am falsely accused and now must explain myself to local authorities.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - Some poor soul somewhere has lost their soul to the count’s insatiable blood lust. None of our company has encountered the dark forces. Arthur has arrived by train in Madrid, while Jack is now in the Atlantic. My dearest Mina has reached Berlin, having travelled through Prague.
The professor is unfortunately still stuck in Marseilles, but I think his continued detention is likely due to the very human obduracy of French officialdom, rather than any dark scheming.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - I landed in Galway as the sun was coming up and was set upon by Wolves, as I was leaving the harbour. I was able to shoot them down with my pistol, although again taking some minor cuts and bruises.
The count has been busy during the night and the townspeople are fearful telling some stories, which even I with my experience of this evil find far-fetched, but I was able to glean enough information that led me to a place where lay one of the latest victims that he had sired. I exposed the unfortunate to the first rays of the rising sun, releasing the poor soul and rescuing her from eternal damnation.
I must now head to Dublin, for I must be close on Dracula’s heels.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Finally freed myself from fools in Marseilles, and receiving word from friend John that the count in Ireland, I take train all way across France arriving Le Havre with dawn. I now wait a ferry across La Manche to reach London.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - The count is again at Sea and from John’s report must be heading here to England; hopefully the Professor will be waiting for him.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - As expected Iberia is quiet with Dracula doing his evil in the British Isles, I visited Madrid and Cadiz, before returning to the former. The Madrid papers are filled with stories of strange events in the Atlantic Ocean, but this is old news to us.
Later - I attempted to catch a train from Madrid, but there are no departures today, so I have taken horse to Saragossa, I have a long journey ahead if I am to rejoin the hunt.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - Rushing to Dublin, hard on his heels, I paused to purify the soil in a local churchyard of the count’s influence, before taking ship. I am now in the Irish Sea, while the count must have landed in Liverpool or Swansea. Even now the professor must be approaching London. Can we finally catch the evil one?
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Arrived in bustling metropolis of London, all currently quiet, but am prepared with my Rifle and my vials of Holy Water. May the Lord give me the strength to prevail over this evil.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - This damned creature has the devil’s cunning. Somehow aware of John and the professor closing in on him, he found another ship and doubled back to the Irish Sea, almost as soon as he landed. I have passed the information on and with Arthur’s contacts and financial means, we have contrived to redirect John’s ship, this will now travel south into the Atlantic. The professor will also have to set sail again, while Mina continues to circulate in Northern Europe.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I again returned to Madrid. All is still quiet and I am becoming somewhat accustomed to this city. I must remain in this area until we have some further information regarding the Count’s whereabouts.
Later - I passed through Saragossa, Barcelona and now I am on my way to Toulouse, knowing of Jack’s imminent landfall in Lisbon.
I fear the monster may have eluded us.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - I sail from London to Edinburgh, if count should have come this way, I will be waiting if he should make landfall here.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - Reached Toulouse, cable from Jonathan advises that he has been able to secure the aid of our old friend Rufus Smith, but this may be just too late as he continues by saying that the count has again set his foot on land.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - Stories abound of a great wolf racing along the roads of Europe in the night, could this be the count? If so the news is of little help because it is the way of these stories to get quite out of hand and I cannot glean the true location from all the diverse supposed sightings. We must continue to search and hope we can rediscover his trail.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - I fear the devil, he has evaded us, sensational stories are printed in Newspapers in the cities of Varna and Athens far to the east. I travel across the North Sea and returning to Amsterdam, arrange for scouts to investigate. Though, their reports not conclusive, my instinct, it tell me that somehow the count has reached one of these places.
I advise friend John, who must again take ship having just arrived in Marseilles.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - Travelling through Bordeaux and arriving in Nantes, I have taken the time to research the count’s abilities. They are formidable and I have found that he has marshalled his devilish power for confrontations still to come.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I have visited nine cities since I last wrote and at Twilight I found myself in Leipzig. Remembering how the professor was once able to take advantage of my blood link with the count, I sought out a hypnotist, with the hope that I might find out some information. Alas the attempt was unsuccessful and I have now pressed on by train arriving once again in Munich.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I arrived at Le Havre and was confronted by one of the counts undead minions. He has been here. I could not resist the gaze of this demonic female and I am ashamed to say I was completely under her spell. Fortunately I came back to myself and was able to break away from her clutching the wound to my neck. Sated by my blood I do not think this vampire will be of any immediate help in Dracula’s quest for domination.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I have arrived in Szeged by way of Zagreb, the local church have learnt of our pursuit of the evil one and taken action to protect this city by consecrating the ground. The count may no longer pass this way. It is good to be able to take a brief rest without fear before pressing on.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - After a long sea journey I have arrived in Athens, all is quiet here in the shadow of the Parthenon, so I suspect that the count made his long journey to Varna and that place was the source of the sensational newspaper reports. I will press on North in the hope of finding his trail.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - I have arrived in Berlin, local rumours tell of dying vegetation in city far east. I fear the count’s plotting in Varna must come to fruition as none of our band will come there in time.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I am badly wounded, but have been able to escape temporarily. Arriving in Klausenburg, I was set upon by a surly peasant with a knife, he stabbed me twice before falling and then I was attacked again, I avoided further harm, only to come face to face with the count. I immediately drew out my stake and prepared to face the fiend, but on seeing it he flew into a rage and dashed it from my hand. By some good fortune I was able to flee but not before feeling his claws. I write this with the constant fear that he will soon return and that I may not again be able to get away.
If I should write no more Jonathan know that I shall always love you.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - Our spies in Klausenburg have seen the count heading for his Castle. I fear for Mina, having not heard from her and knowing that she was in that vicinity. I pray that she is alright.
I must let the others know of these developments; maybe we can trap him in Eastern Europe.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - My train has arrived in Leipzig after a short stopover in Cologne, where the newspapers are reporting a sighting of the count in Geneva, this is obviously an old story and I must now press on east to the aid of Mrs. Harker. Good news for our cause is that Sister Agatha of the hospital of St. Mary and St. Joseph has agreed to aid us in our cause.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I think fortune must have shined on me as I have reached Szeged without further visits from the count. I feel a little recovered after a short rest here following my ordeal in Klausenburg.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - A great wolf was seen leaving the castle and passing through Klausenburg, heading along the road to Szeged. May the lord protect my darling Mina.
Later - I have heard from Mina, she is alright. She was set upon by the fiend in wolf form, but was again able to slip sway. Less good, she tells me that the evil one has used his dark powers to somehow rob us of Sister Agatha’s aid.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Well it was that I am not far away in Vienna. For once the, oh so poor, eastern train he runs well and I arrive in time to the aid of Madam Mina. I engage the count and strike some blows with my knife, before the coward he take the form of a great bat and flee from me.
The, oh so brave, Madam Mina, she takes a trip now to the hospital, for the rest of us we must hunt the evil one. We have the chance to destroy him forever.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I am ashamed to say that I much abused my trusty horse to travel faster, but I had need of great speed if I was to reach Prague from Munich, in case the count should have attempted to elude us by that route.
I guessed correctly and as soon as I entered the city I had to engage him. Despite his advantages at night I wielded my crucifix and rifle with great effect and dealt him serious damage before he again fled as a bat. I hope he has not now eluded us as I think his end may be near if we can but catch him again.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I remain at the hospital in the care of the sisters. I was able to prevail upon one to again put me under hypnosis in an attempt to glean the count’s current whereabouts, but his power must be blocking me for the attempt was a failure.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - Either the Prague authorities are incorruptible or they fear the count more than they covet my monetary inducements. I attempted to catch a train, fearing that I should lose the count, but I was detained and no offer was seemingly enough to oil the wheels of officialdom. I fear the count is long gone. I shall now wait here for the arrival of the professor so that he may deal with the bite that has afflicted me since my encounter with the vampire in Le Havre.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - The count seems to have eluded us for the moment; we must now regroup and hope to get back on his trail soon. Happier news, Mina is now much recovered and has left the hospital for Zagreb.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Arrived Prague by way of Vienna, no sign of the count. Friend Arthur, he has been bitten and I am preparing a transfusion of my own blood, that he may not go the way of poor Miss Lucy.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - Time runs short today and noon passed almost without our being aware of it. Night approaches and we have still not found the count’s location.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I feel much improved following a blood transfusion and am now ready to leave Prague. While recovering I resolved that I would study the local paper carefully and this has been useful as I have found a story of a large bat entering the German city of Hamburg, this being shortly following my fight with the count here in Prague.
Later - I have taken a train to Hamburg and there are stories of bodies found drained of blood in the small hours, the count clearly fed here before moving on. The hunt resumes. The professor was on his way to Nuremburg after I left Prague.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I have arrived in Strasbourg, having passed through Munich. Along the way I have equipped myself with Holy Water and have acquired a pack of dogs which hopefully will be of aid in warning me of any traps that may be put in front of me.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - Night comes and again there are stories of giant wolves, the count is still determined to stay ahead of us.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - Arrived in Cologne and was attacked by another of the count’s minions, but I put a bullet in him without difficulty. I must now press on.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I have reached Paris and discovered the Lair of one of the count’s undead children. Although it is night, I was able to dispatch this young undead, still inexperienced in the use of her powers. It is another setback for the count’s plans for domination, but we must still see an end of him.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I have now reached Brussels and encountered another of the count’s young offspring. This time I have avoided damage, but the vampire escaped. It must be dealt with before long to prevent a major victory for the count.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - It seems an age since I last wrote in this diary; I see it was on my arrival in Athens on the ninth. Since then I travelled north via Valona, Sofia and Bucharest before arriving in Szeged by train. Then the nightmare began and I spent from Dawn to twilight arguing with ignorant officialdom before being allowed to board the train which has now brought me to Vienna.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Again the count he attempt to delay me with officialdom. Arriving at station in Frankfurt I am aware of officers waiting to detain me on his false charge, but this time I am prepared and have chartered a carriage, so they wait in vain while my train leave the station. I then make good time to Cologne.
Mina Harker’s Journal - Have joined Arthur in Brussels and attempted to deal with the vampire. I was forewarned but some devilish power was working against me and she escaped again. Arthur must now try again soon.
Lord Godalming’s Journal - I have finally dealt with the vampire here in Brussels, the sight of a crucifix was enough to put her to flight. Now on with the hunt.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Arrived Strasbourg and received report from scouts. No sign of count in Saragossa, but sighting in Toulouse. One of the count’s minions is waiting there for us if we should visit.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - We know the count has been in Toulouse, but has he gone east or west? We need to find out so Arthur will investigate Spain and the western alternative, while Jack Seward guards the eastern route. Mina and the Professor will attempt to clear up any villainy which he may have left in his wake.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - I have now reached Milan, where I traded with one of the locals, exchanging my knife for a pack of dogs, which hopefully will be of great help in coming battles.
Mina Harker’s Journal - I visited Clermont Ferrand to investigate a possible sighting, it seems to have been a hoax, but I do wonder if the count may have been behind it.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - I travelled to Venice and killed another one of the count’s minions. I then prepared to battle the count himself, but a wolf leapt out at me, spooking my horse. The animal went wild and fled, with me from the city. I was almost to Florence before I was able to bring it under control, so my confrontation with the count must wait.
Jonathan Harker’s Journal - This seems a long day and we have been able to cover a lot of ground, I have received news that the count has put to sea in an attempt to escape us. This may backfire on him as he must be in the Adriatic and the forecast is for storms in those waters.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - I travelled south by train and arrived in Naples, if the forecast is true, the count must soon be forced to make landfall in Bari.
Later - the storms came and the count is in Bari. What will be his next move?
Mina Harker’s Journal - Trying to enter Genoa to join the pursuit, I was surrounded by bats, still they mill around me and I can take no action while they remain. I fear that I will have to follow where they should go in the future.
Doctor Seward’s Diary - I have travelled to Rome and been set upon by peasants, who took my equipment and drove off my dogs, fortunately I was able to acquire additional equipment to replace what I had lost.
If the peasants were here, then so was the count. I located him and was able to secure the location with Garlic before engaging. Unfortunately the ensuing combat was inconclusive and the count was eventually able to escape. It will be night before we meet again and his power will be all the greater.
Doctor Seward’s diary - The count fled from Rome, but I guessed correctly and followed him to Naples. First I had to deal with one of his agents and suffered a bad knife wound before defeating her. So the battle with the count was resumed and I was again able to seal the location with Garlic. This time I was able to wound the count badly, but he again escaped in the end, flying back to Rome as a bat.
I have telegraphed Van Helsing, maybe he can now finally bring the fiend’s existence to an end.
Professor Van Helsing’s Notes - Receiving telegraph from friend John, I gather all my resolve and race to Rome to finally confront the dark count. He stand in shadow of the Colosseum, now almost pathetic, a shadow of his once fearsome self. I am unable to feel pity for this foul creature and taking a vial of holy water I dash it in his face.
The count is destroyed and joyous it is to see great rising of light even as night falls in this holy place. But is this trily the end..?
Another awesome article from Dave that demonstrates how a game with a great theme can create a new story every time. Dave is also a very good player and dogged Drac throughout. I had some minor victories in nearly taking out Mina (should have bitten, not scratched) and my agents decided for once to be a bit more than futile. But in the end I was thwarted from getting some blood at the castle and I burned in holy water. Until next time (good guys next)...