Today I'm proud to feature a guest post: Jack of Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque explores an unchronicled aspect of the City...
“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.”
– William S. Burroughs
vampiric blood-addicts are a known menace on the streets of the City; however, out of the all-too-common tragedy of need has come an ever darker threat to the City's denizens. Agents from Ealderde, the Old World, appear to be tracking the movements and aptitudes of blood-junkies; those that show “promise” are introduced to a mysterious injectable referred to as Malthus serum.
Malthus serum doesn't cure a vampire, but it makes blood addiction manageable; it allows the vampire to function in society and even alleviates the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal—at least temporarily.
More importantly, from the point of view of the Ealderdish agents who lurk in the shadows, Malthus serum treats the tell-tale signs that indicate a vampire's foul addiction; vampires who have been administered a steady dosage of the serum develop neither the usual bodily sores, nor do they lose hair or muscle mass, nor are they jaundiced of tooth, claw, and eye. In fact, on a Malthus regimen a vampire will face none of the physical drawbacks common to their condition, but retain all of the powers and abilities granted by their addiction.
Of course, the agents don't provide Malthus serum out of the goodness of their hearts. Rather, they administer the supplemental drug in order to hook the vampire on the “high” of exercising their powers without the gnawing pull of crippling addiction.
Nothing comes for free in the City. Once a vampire has proven themselves useful to an agent, the agent will begin requiring them to perform acts of spying, sabotage, and even assassination in return for the next serum injection. The agent becomes the vampire's handler, dispensing both drugs and secret missions that fulfill strange agendas to the of benefit distant financiers in the Old World. The vampire, for his or her part, becomes a nosferagent in thrall to unknown invisible hands that order machinations from afar.
27 minutes ago