All images copyright Alex CF 2014. Please credit and attach a link if used outside this website.  

“A uniquely disguised flint lock pistol, used by the Holy Order circa 1870″

After black friday, and the menace of the wraith virus was finally put down, the Cleric Abramo did not disband the Holy Order. He chose a strong Lieutenant in the form of Hamish Metcalf, a brash red haired soldier whose own dicings with Wraith and feral blood thieves had left many a scar, both physically and mentally. But one of the most fascinating attributes to Metcalf was his immunity to the Vampyrus, and subsequent wraith viral strains. He had been bitten twice, once as a child, and once during the eradication of a nest of Wraith in Louisiana in 1870. The only effect was the modification of his canines – although the virus was no longer present in him, he carried with him the descending serrated cuspids of a Vampyr. He periodically filed them down, only for them to regrow.

Eventually the infliction was put to good use. The Crasc, a primitivist order of Vampyr, outcast from the city of Thenis, had created something of a mafia in the slums of most big cities in America. They ran mostly guns and alcohol in exchange for bodies – humans to be exact. The rival cartels would happily trade such an easy commodity for items that could fetch a much higher price, and soon cities were picked clean of vagrants, orphans and the forgettable. Abramo knew of this particular problem but had no way of knowing who was organising these operations. As far as he was aware, the Crasc were a loose group of semi organised feral Vampyr, mostly pure breds, but many “turned”. Although turned were despised by the Crasc, they were useful for cannon fodder. They kept the image of the blood thief very much alive, whilst The Crasc moved to secure the planet as a place for Vampyr as the dominant hominid, and not human.

After months of tracking the feral ghouls, Abramo found the Crasc base of operations in a church in Kentucky. A building used as a homeless shelter on the weekends, the church seemed to offer the perfect cover. Further investigation revealed the ring leader, an ancient known as Seirse. Seirse was masquerading as a human priest, and even performed the role of an ordained man. Abramo attended a number of his sermons which were surprisingly authentic, if a little bland. Metcalf was challenged with infiltrating the church as a Crasc. There was no way for the Vampyr to know he wasn’t carrying the Vampyrus strain, many young vampyr were not easily distinguishable from humans, besides the mandible and teeth, which Metcalf carried. It was only after months that the telltale loss of bodily hair, and realignment and distortion of various anatomy would give the game away. Seirse avoided identification with his cassock, and a well kept wig. His distance from his parishioners was also maintained, with various familiars acting as body guards. The front was bizarre, yet it allowed him to occupy a seat of power within the community but also gave him a sense of authority that he obviously craved.

Metcalf began his successful infiltration and carried with him a reliquary for protection in case he was discovered. Within this, a hand made flint lock pistol, disguised as a crucifix. If discovered, he would attach the handle, unlock the hidden barrel, load the powder and shot, and fire. The pistol could carry more than one round at a time, with a modified mechanism within the pistol. The case also carried a stake and extra shot and powder.

Metcalf successfully identified those involved in the smuggling of humans for the Crasc, and managed to stall the shipment of a number of carriages carrying more than 50 humans destined for death at the hands of these separatist vampyr. He used the gun far more than he had thought, continually hiding his guilt simply due to his infallible disguise.

When he was eventually discovered, Seirse had his teeth pulled from his head. He survived the ordeal and although the chief smuggler was never apprehended, the trade was stopped. Despite being gravely wounded, Metcalf was glad of it, his bizarre vestige teeth no longer a tool for espionage.