The Bloodstained Blade

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THE BLOODSTAINED BLADE
Soldiers and saints

“And I say unto thee, that thou art my rock, and from this stone I shall smelt a steel, and from this steel I shall forge a blade; and this sword will pierce the heavens!” — Gospel of the Pariah 16:18

After King Hordos, the Dark Father, and his daughter and mother Salome drank the blood of Yohanon, they called down death upon the rabble-rousers and rebels who preached against their rule. When Malkuth, a vampire servant of King Hordos, came to arrest the Pariah, his follower Shimon took a sword from one of the Remulan centurions accompanying the vampire and struck off the vampire’s head in a single blow. It did not save the Pariah, but it proved that vampires could be killed.

Fleeing into the desert, Shimon stared at the black blood crusting the steel blade and pondered how to avenge the man of peace he had loved and followed. The pariah’s last words to Shimon had been “He who lives by violence, shall die by violence.” Thunderstruck, the former fisherman turned his feet to Remula and sold himself into slavery as a gladiator.

Shimon trained his body and hardened his soul. He learned every martial art he could and became the most famous gladiator Remula had ever known. He earned his freedom, opened his own gladiatorial school, and began his mission. In secret vigils only allowed to his most trusted students, he preached the word of the Pariah; in darkened catacombs accompanied by those same students, he hunted vampires.

Age stole his strength and he died a bloody death at the hands of a vampire, as he knew he would, as he knew he must for preaching peace and living a life of violence. His students secretly protected the Remulan Empire for generations, but at last, the hordes of Atta swept in and scattered them to the winds. From this battered, broken fellowship came the Bloodstained Blade.

The Blade passed down its hidden practices for centuries, becoming more secretive with every generation. The Bloodstained Path – the secret worship of the Pariah – became a tiny cult, a flickering candle in the darkness. Only the Bloodstained Blade knows the secret of holy water; only the Bloodstained Blade knows the power of the cross. Within the past century, the elders of the Bloodstained Blade have recognized that this secrecy has won them many battles but lost the war. They have cherished their role as the Pariah’s martyrs to the exclusion of spreading his message. Now they realize they must preach the Bloodstained Path again.

Archetypes
Holy warrior, God’s madman, fencing master, religious scholar, heroic wanderer

Inspiration
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Brides of Dracula, Dracula (aka Horror of Dracula), Van Helsing: Van Helsing
Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter: Captain Kronos, Professor Hieronymous Grost
Solomon Kane: Solomon Kane

Benefits of Membership
Membership in the Bloodstained Blade assumes that one follows the Bloodstained Path, the outlaw cult of the Pariah. All of the membership is devoted in their faith to the Pariah and will shelter and aid co-religionists to the best of their ability. The Bloodstained Blade also knows more of the vampires’ strengths and weaknesses than any other secret society due to their centuries of battling the bloodsuckers. Unfortunately, that knowledge has become mainly rote learning during the last few centuries, as the Bloodstained Blade has turned more toward war against the vampires than worship of the Pariah.
+1d4 Knowledge (Occult)
+1d4 Stealth
Connections (Bloodstained Blade) Edge. The collective knowledge of the Bloodstained Blade regarding vampires is encyclopedic; a successful Connections roll can easily put a Bladesman in touch with fellow cultists who can recall obscure facts about a vampire’s bloodline. Members of the Bloodstained Blade maintain boltholes across Malleus; while these are not as plentiful or well-secreted as those of the Benevolent Association, they’re still helpful in a pinch. Since most Bladesmen are eager warriors for the Pariah, they will eagerly gather to help a co-religionist in his battles.

Example Characters

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God’s Madman (Novice)
A grim, determined scholar of vampire lore.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6.
Skills: Faith d8, Fighting d4, Healing d6, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d4.
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 6 (1)
Hindrances: Arrogant [Major], Stubborn [Minor], Vengeful [Minor].
Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections (Bloodstained Blade), Holy Warrior.
Gear: crucifix, doctor’s bag, lantern and oil, leather greatcoat (Armor +1), hand crossbow and 13 quarrels (Range: 6/12/24, damage 2d4, AP 1, 1 action to reload), saw, shovel, (severe) normal clothing, 2 stakes (Str
d4) & hammer (+1 damage vs. grappled/helpless target), 17 reichsmarks.
Special Abilities:
Power Points: 10.
Powers: darksight (eyes shine with a demonic light), fear (bellowed passages from the Gospel of the Pariah put the fear of the Unseen Creator into his foes)

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Heroic Wanderer (Novice)
A former soldier who has vowed to shed no human blood in the war against the vampires.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8.
Skills: Faith d8, Fighting d8, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Survival d6.
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (1)
Hindrances: Heroic [Major], Death Wish [Minor], Pacifist [Minor].
Edges: AB: Miracles, Champion, Connections (Bloodstained Blade).
Gear: bedroll, knapsack, lantern and oil, leather greatcoat (Armor +1), (much-mended) normal clothing, scimitar (Str
d8), 2 stakes (Str+d4), 8 reichsmarks in alms.
Special Abilities:
Power Points: 10.
Powers: boost/lower trait (a quick prayer to the saint who controls the trait), smite (weapon burns with holy fire; flammable trapping per SWD p. 106) 

The Bloodstained Blade

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