Contessa Moldred’s Mad Winery

An adventure prompt for Halloween! This is slightly darker than I usually like to write, but it is Halloween. Hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think in the comments.


The cold floor seeped through her dress, through her skin, through her muscles and came to rest in her bones. She waited for It to start again. The clawing, the screaming, and the pain. The door squeaked open, a figure slipped in.

“Hold out your arm.”

A sharp pain as a needle jabbed through her skin. The blood drained into a cup. Once full, the figure removed the needle and applied a bandage.

“Good. A nice color,” the figure swished the blood in the glass, took a deep sniff, and then took a sip. She rolled the blood in her mouth and licked her lips. “Mmm….almost perfect, but a tad too much hope.”

She left. A few minutes later, a bowl of cold stew and glass of water slipped through the door’s food slot. Within the hour, hundreds of spiders filled the room, then snakes, then rats. Eventually, the darkness itself seemed to whisper and chatter.

~ ~ ~

Background

In the catacombs under the ruins of a church, the vampire Contessa Moldred runs her famed Mad Winery. The blood of the insane offers sophisticated undercurrents, a pleasant bittersweet aftertaste, and a wonderful dank aroma not found in normal blood. Vampires come from all over the region to sample the fine and rare blood-wine. To cultivate the perfect amount of Madness, the Contessa bribes local townsfolk to kidnap victims for her to torture into insanity. The townsfolk who take advantage of this secret deal earn both fortune and get rid of undesirables: drunks, moochers, the curious, and rivals. But the townsfolk are not completely evil, most do not know the vampires’ true nature, believing their lie that they are after slaves. The few that do know, think the vampires kill the victims in the usual way: quickly and painlessly.

Cast:

Contessa Moldred: A very old vampire of at least 700 years, as evidenced by her rows of fangs that hang out of mouth like stalactites. Her irises look like dried scabs and the whites are a dull yellow. She is a master of torture and blood-winery. In life, she was a countess, the product of a spoiled upbringing and social isolation.

Humphrey Billbod: Moldred’s second in command is a fat and oddly friendly-seeming vampire. He is approximately 300 years old and, in life, was a blacksmith. After a feeding, when his flesh looks the most alive, he enjoys strolling into town and performing good deeds such as handing out candy to the street urchins.

Sir Rithter: The richest man in town benefits greatly from Contessa’s deal. He has notions about what Contessa is and what she does, but tries not to think too hard about it. A deeply religious man, he adheres strictly to his deity, The Goddess of Order.

Loplip: A young woman who is suspicious of all the disappearances. She is both poor and suffers from a cleft lip, which makes it hard for her to get people to listen to her. She has gathered some information and will help the PCs, although she has no other real skills. Unbeknownst to her, she has gained the attention of Contessa, who plans on kidnapping her soon.

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