GURPS Storage Sandbox
Torchwood Institute: Crown and MI6 Clearance
Preternatural Creature Encounter and Historical Research
Caution: Subject rarely acknowledges information regarding her origin or true age. A number of the individuals who’s accounts are gathered for this file were know to have died of mysterious causes. Due the the prescient nature of the subject and its apparent lack of malign intent the institute has classified it as a Delta level threat, to be observed from a distance and only approached in great need, with appropriate incentive.
Although the subject does not have awareness of its true nature, and last agent contact did not see fit to notify it thus, we have assembled a dossier of its known abilities and identified the likely preternatural species of the subject. It is our suspicion that this species is a earlier variation on the current widely manifested preternatural classification Harrowed.
Upir: According to Slavic and Roma folklore, a Upyr is born out of the congress of a witch and a demon, All upyr have unnatural beauty and the ability to mesmerise or beguile people with their eyes, and have great stamina and regenerative capacity. However they must feed on blood or raw flesh (human or animal) or become fatigued due to the use of their gifts. The lesser upyr may become a full upyr if they survive to sexual maturity, and have attempted to die by their own hand; suicide, a graven sin in the eyes of the godly, is the key to their greater power and ageless vigour. While not vampires in the traditional sense (a completely different class of preternatural cryptomorph, they may be responsible for some of the spread of the legends, though not affected by sunlight directly. In addition to the powers of the lesser the full upyr is an apex predator, gaining unnatural beauty, the ability to draw life through mortal congress, the powers of either one or both of their parents, as well as greater then human speed, strength or grace. It is believed that the demon parent passes on the spiritual aspects of its sinful nature, and the death simply gives that unholy spirit the ability to revivify the mortal form while maintaining a greater level of ‘fresshness’
In 1865 potentially information came to light that would have damaged the crowns relationship with the Romanian crown. One of our agents was successful in gathering images of the Romanian king indisposed with what was initially believed to be a gypsy whore, The whore was dispatched by sniper shot, although the photographs reached England, the photographer was discovered eviscerated by an unknown clawed beast, with a considerable missing quantity of blood. The two crowns unified despite their dispute over England’s offer of assistance, the Romanian ‘agent’ Dr. Victoria Von Victenstein and Inspector Hammett on loan to scottland yard where ostensibly dispatched, but strangely accompanied by another Romanian agent, with only the name Magda, who’s arrival heralded shock and fear, as she appeared to be the dead whore. After an unusual discussion with Agent Hammett, during which he swore he knew Magda-and then seemingly forgot she was even present, the second agent herself disappeared. After the recovery of the planned photograph, by the agents we were notified that the image had been destroyed. The Doctor returned to her slavic home, and MI6 received a package containing the burned remains of a camera, our photographers missing signet, and a simple message ‘We also watch’
Historical Research (best chronological order)
The Diary of Magdelena Mavali’riechev
Translated from Cyphered Roma
(Page 1 – A childs rough scrawl)
Syeira told me that my true mother was a Seer of great beauty, who had informed her when I was born that my father was a messinger to the Hasberg from dark Russia, not of our people but Gaije. She thought perhaps he was some creature of old Baba-Yaga, for there was fire in his eyes. But she would tell me no more, and sent me to practice my signs and chants so that someday I may serve the one people as my mother did.
(page 2 – The hand of a youth, schooled in penmanship)
Durrikin and Bersha told me if I could get their fathers to let them wed, they would break the silence around my mother and why no man save my Zapadarin teacher and our Baro my touch me or make bid on my hand. They know that I have the gift of getting what I wish, so I will try, Bersha whispers to me that Durrikin’s father only refuses because her father said his Kompanyi was not good enough for his daughter. I caught his eye that night, and whispered to him that he was wrong about Durrikin, that his stars were well in line, and that I saw great misfortune on his Vardo if he did not marry off his daughter to her fated suitor… He ran to make is change of heart known, and I, I passed out weak and sick – life pouring out of her nose. The consumption some said, but old Syeira just asked what mischief I had made.
When the wedding was over, Durrikin told me, I was born to Olava, the last great seer of the people. At Zalàu for the 9 year gathering of the Roma. During the gathering, which lasted many months, on a scarlet moon (The total lunar eclipse of 1765) a crone of the old ways tore the pale child from her mothers womb, Magdelena was born with a Caul, a sign of a special destiny
She had been fostered to her midwife, also her mothers sister, to live in her vardo and learn from her the ways of the the wise women of the Roma (Seers and Witches who protect the people). Magda was thought by many to be stricken with some form of consumption, because she would frequently have bleeds (blood outside the body is viewed as unclean and unauspicious by the Romani) She was also thought to be powerful because though she was given fish, roasted game and food enough to feed 2 children her age, she was thin, and hungry all the time. His final secret to share, her mother had given Syeira a pouch she had taken from her lover, and no sooner did Durrikin speak of it, then I knew where it was hidden.
(page 3 – same writing style)
It has taken me 5 moons, but I have gotten the pouch…
My fathers name is Mavali Riechev, Katchi to the Tsar, what ever a Katchi is.
(page 38 – In a well schooled adults hand)
We camp near the cross roads before Câmpeni, Many of the young Dragoner flirt, Syeira wants me to stay in the vardo, but they have such interesting tails to tell. Today I finally learned what a Katchi is, it is a Cossak word for a handler of Demons. I want less to meet my father, but the Dragoner tell that the new Tsar has had the Katchi beheaded, they think they are allaying my fears, how little they know.
(page 39 – this page is liberally marked with old bloodstains)
I caught the eye of a young Dragoner commander, thinking he was going to ask me to tell his fortune, he instead talked his tails of home and victory over the rebellion, and led me into the trees away from the Kompanyi. There was not the pleasure the girls had spoken of, he had his pleasure of me, and even my gaze could not catch him in his animal rut. His strength, and will spent he finally released my hands. I tore at his face with my lacquered nails, his blood streaming from the gashes fell into my mouth, and a strength like I have never known flooded my body. The man glared into my eyes, rage clear in his expression as he threatened to kill. The power of my gaze, stronger then I have ever seen cowed him to my voice as I told him to sleep, his face slackened and he obeyed. Anger overwhelmed me and taking the blade from his waist I stabbed him, then as fresh hearts blood poured down the blade and my hand a dark hunger consumed me, ignoring a lifetime of fearing blood, I began to lap at the flood from her assailants chest.
It was only when the flow abated that I became aware of the murmuring voices of my teachers and the baro close behind me.
My kin whispered words I have never herd Upyr, they called me cursed, as I turned and saw the sad faces of kinfolk, my foster father struck me with a baton, and I fell unconscious with the soldiers blade beneath me.
I realize now that I am outcast, I shall bury this journal, in the pouch of a father I will never know, at the place of hiding, and then I shall end my shame with the Moorish blade of the Ottoman that fouled me.
Report of Kir Dragoner Eusebiu Lacramioara on the Battle at Kempani
Translated from Valach
The day before the battle at Câmpeni, or Kempani as my own map would call it we were suddenly free of the thieving gypsy, they disappeared like the thieves they were, in the dark of night. The battle was made all the more irritating, the youngest of my commanders was gone as well, He was too good a warrior to be taken by gypsy trash, so I assumed he had deserted us, or been caught by Revolting soldiers from Horea. We paid many lives for our victory that day, but then – the night came, and more lives were lost. Silently lost in the dark that first night, 20 of my youngest remaining recruits, they lay pale and lifeless in their tents, the most horrid expression of rapture on their faces.
The next night, after we harrowed the straggling remains of Horea’s army, more silent deaths, only this time it appeared to be at the hands of bears, I can only imagine the two score of cannoneers were too close to a bears cubs, but still that they got neither a scream or shot, and not a man alive… I can only assume they, like the young soldiers had spent their pay on gypsy trash, as they had nothing of value on them.
On the third night the superstitious men began to speak of witchcraft, others of shadows that moved in the darkness, that night we were rousted by the sounds of armed men invading the camp, only there could be no more arms-men of Horea, and through my tent – though I know my lord you will question my mind – I swear the crown prince of Horea rode his horse, and impaled me on a spear.
It has been 7 nights since what ever hunts my men began, even now – 3 days ride from the battlefield we loose one or two by simply looking away. The horses still riding in formation, but the dragoner laying in the dirt, his throat torn open, or just cold and white as snow. I give this missive to a travelling Monk, I will not burden him with the story, only ask his solemn vow that this will reach you my lord.
Throughout the next century the creature known as Magdelena has appeared, paramour and black widow to the wealthy, the artistic, and most often – those engaged in studies of the occult.
Based on a transcript of her discussion with Inspector Hammett it would appear the he encountered her as a child at the London Worlds Fare.
Based on student reports, and intelligence information gathered from Romanian sources, she was bedding an elder scholar and professor of mysterous studeies at Transylvania University when Victoria Von Victenstein’s doctoral project demolished the older buildings of the university, the humanities school and the library.
We know that she followed Von Victenstein to the new world, however our resources in the divided colonies are thin.
Her MO is to gather wealth, knowledge, or occasionally simply admiration. She seems to only take interest in any individual if they are potentially a risk to her homeland, or to gypsy people.
She has been implicated in wholesale slaughter of individuals who the crown has no interest in considering human, mostlikely for their transgressions against innocents, an activity that seems greatly trouble someone we believe to be herself what might be called a monster.
First met as a child, and later during work for the joint Romanian / English misadventure of 1865, His formidable memory and will have circumnavigated efforts to make him forget the age of his ‘new’ associate
Victoria von Victenstein
Destroyer of Magda’s most recent home, terror of Romanian peasantry, she is as much a subject of inquiry as she is a contact.