Monday, October 5, 2015

The King is Dead: Squire Vidkun, Collaborator

Kevin McNally in TURN: Washington's Spies

Squire Vidkun
Villain

Why do humans submit so readily to the vampires? What makes a man a traitor to his people? For some it is simply fear; they see no chance of success in rebellion, and so they preserve their lives by submitting. Some are blinded by faith; the Holy Panoptic Church preaches salvation through obedience, and so they obey – because being forced to find their own meaning in the universe is more terrifying than worshipping monsters. Others, though, obey because they believe in obedience. They obey because they love everything to have its place and hate anyone who stands apart.

Albert Vidkun, Esquire, is one of those men. Vidkun can trace his ancestry back before the Conquest, when Westengothic kingdoms still fought for control of Malleus against the Keltisch. He can name with pride the ancestors who died beneath Prince Rickard’s sword and the many-times great-uncle who resisted the vampires as a member of the Hooded Knights, but all that is nothing beside his conviction that the world is ordered and all must keep to their place.

Squire Vidkun is the sort of man who reports the angry mutterings of his sharecroppers to the local militia, the sort of man who insinuates the new barrister’s young wife isn’t properly obedient, the sort of man who beats his slaves for looking at him the wrong way. He is quick to tithe gold and blood; he is joyous to present himself before the magistrates as a witness to any misdemeanor. Squire Vidkun loves the law.

What he refuses to see – what his senses tell him every day and he refuses to comprehend – is that Malleus is not a law-abiding society. It is not orderly; it is merely ordered. The vampires do what they will – bending and breaking the law as it suits them – and then they use their privilege to make their every whim seem lawful. It is impossible to say whether Albert Vidkun’s eyes could ever be opened, and what would happen if they were. Would he break? Would he join the revolution? Would the revolution even want to give him the chance to redeem himself?

Attitude: Albert Vidkun is vehemently Hostile to the revolution and any known revolutionaries, but otherwise comports himself with what he believes is sagacity and wisdom. He is Helpful to his peers and betters, Friendly to those who show him deference, and patiently Neutral to even those who disrespect him.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Gambling d6, Intimidation d8, Investigation d4, Knowledge (History) d10, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Taunt d4
Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Delusional [sincerely believes any problems with vampires can be resolved peacefully, hates revolutionaries]
Edges: Command, Command Presence, Gentry, Natural Leader, Strong Willed
Gear: Fine clothes, fowling rifle (Range 10/20/40, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1)
Special Abilities:
  • Patriarch: If Squire Vidkun is used as a player character’s father or relative, he gains +2 to Intimidation rolls against that character.
 
GM Notes
Squire Vidkun is a frustratingly human villain. Perhaps the best way to implement him is to reskin the squire as a player character’s own father or grandfather. Let the cabal deal personally with an antagonist who genuinely means no harm (except to them) but whose actions enable the vampires to harm others.
 
He can also, of course, be played as a local bully and bigot. Squire Vidkun has enough respect in his hometown or village to easily rile up a torch- and pitchfork-wielding mob.

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