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The parable of George the Assamite.

George was an Assamite. He got a job. A typical job: his employer was to pay him half up front, in blood, the other half when the job was finished. The job was to study, verify a target, and eliminate him. Typical. His employer was in a position where information about the 'job' could cause him loss of face. Also typical.

Also typical is that he only had a name to work on. He traced the name to a house in the middle-class section of town. He set up surveillance in a van across the street and watched, and waited.

His victim was an older man. George estimated 65.

The man lived with three other people - an older woman, a much younger woman, and a small boy. The boy confused George; while he had assumed the man to be a vampire, the boy suggested otherwise. Vampires don't usually make ghouls out of children. The boy never left the house for school, but would occasionally join other children to play in the street, even during the day. The older woman was weak and never left the living room, and the younger woman worked during the day as a mail carrier.

The man (now code-named Archie) rarely left the house, save for nights that the local Prince held a Conclave. On some nights, though, he'd emerge shortly after dusk dressed in sneakers and a heavy overcoat, despite the unseasonally warm weather. He would close the door very quietly, and walk to the bus stop down the street, despite the Oldsmobile in the garage.

George tailed him to an abandoned factory, keeping his distance in case Archie could see through his Obfuscation. Archie wandered around the factory floor for exactly three hours, to the minute, stopping occasionally to sigh at a broken window or rummage aimlessly through piles of machine parts. At then end of the three hours, Archie left the factory the same way he came in: through the gap between a couple of loose boards that had been nailed over the door.

On most nights that Archie went to the factory, he'd return home after the three hours. Once in a while, however, he'd go to a nearby cemetary. George tried to follow him in once, but a powerful mystical force prevented him from crossing through the gate and nearly knocked him off balance, threatening his Cloak.

Archie would spend an hour or so in the cemetary and then return home, usually by foot and not bus.

The house looked normal from the outside. Through George's infrared scope, some parts were even semi-transparent. However, there was an odd cold draft emerging from one room which prevented him from peering into the inner rooms of the house. On nights when the moon was full, the cold would creep through the house as if alive, and Archie would stand at the front bay windows, holding a shotgun behind his back.


George was formulating plans to get a better view into the house when he recieved the order to execute his target. Apparently Archie had just recently become enough of a problem to George's employer to warrant execution without further examination.

And, being a well-trained killer, George followed the order. He executed him in the factory the following night, using a sword to behead him, as bullet proved insufficient. Archie turned out to be vampiric afterall.

As for the house and its inhabitants? George was ordered to fire-bomb them, and make it look like an accident. And, being a well-trained arsonist, George followed the order. Everyone in the house was killed, and the fire department found no cause to believe it was arson.

The End


George is a classic example of an Assamite. He is highly trained in surveillance, stealth, explosives, security, and combat.

Archie is not a killer; he's not trained in combat, or at least not enough to protect himself from the Assamite. He had no idea why there was a contract on his head, or even that there was one. His skills and abilities were of no concern to those who wanted him dead.

Which character is more interesting?


George is shallow and undeveloped. He's nothing but a killer. His character can easily be compared with many of the live-action characters I have seen in various LARPS.

Archie's real story is, for all practical purposes, lost forever. Whether he was a character or a plot hook is irrelevant; as a character, his death was the end of a developing, enigmatic character. As a plot hook, his death was the end of what might have been a carefully crafted, intriguing story.

The player behind George is at fault for this travesty. It was perfectly within George's shallow character to kill Archie for money; the player is to blame for creating such a shallow character.

The player is also to blame for not respecting the work put into Archie. It is one thing to play a shallow character; it is another to have your shallow character destroy a developed character that another player put a lot of work into, or a story that the storyteller put a lot of work into.

We've all seen this happen in LARPs. We've all seen players like the one behind Archie quit games because of things like this.

And I'm sick of people saying "but it's only a game."