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Subject: Bram Stoker's "Revenge of Dracula" rss

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Journal of Van Helsing, April 21st, 1898.

[Note: Text in brackets is out of character]

What we once thought was dead and gone by the grace of God apparently still lives in a state in Un-dead. Dracula has fooled us all, and the sacrifice of our good friend was for wont. The Count once more has traveled out into the world from his Castle and we have taken in separate directions to try to stop him - even Mina. Dear, sweet Mina. The search for the Count has begun again in earnest…

I was away in Vienna on business when my plans were uprooted by the telegram from Lord Godalming and I immediately began my search, travelling from Vienna to Prague. Godalming was also travelling on business, and he was in Paris. We agreed to meet in a week in Munich. Mina, bless her heart, searched from Madrid to Lisbon, but she was apprehended by the police and wasted valuable time showing them her papers and arguing with the authority. Dr. Seward, on the other hand was in London, and had travelled to Liverpool when we heard rumors of Count Dracula’s whereabouts – the Dread Lord was in Berlin!

[Amazingly, we garnered Dracula’s whereabouts extremely early in the game. All the characters moved except Mina, who flubbed a train roll with an X.]

***

Journal of Van Helsing, April 26th, 1898.

God was with us so early in this game of man and monster that we play to give us Dracula’s location. Lord Godalming and I began to close in and hopefully trap the Count while the Doctor took a boat from Liverpool and was somewhere in the North Sea. It was I who reaching the city of Nuremburg where the Count now resided. Ready to enter combat with the villain, I pressed my horses too hard! The spokes on the wheel of my carriage broke, and I was stuck while that damnable monster escaped!

[The encounter set at Nuremburg was Saboteur. Someone in Prague must have sabotaged Van Helsing’s coach!]

***

Journal of Van Helsing, April 27th, 1898.

Dracula has escaped… Godalming entered Strasbourg while I doubled back to Prague, thinking the wily Count would trick me. It was not to be… he has either travelled to Frankfurt or Munich by now. Munich is much more likely, as he can feel the net closing in on him as Doctor Seward makes landfall at Hamburg. Mina, poor child, finally boards the train in Lisbon but the train breaks down and the crew must fix it.

[Mina’s having some major issues!]

Night has fallen. God help us all as we continue to track the monster down.

Lord Godalming travels to Munich, and it is obvious that Dracula was there, as an evil mist falls over the buildings and countryside and Godalming is trapped in the city! Doctor Seward, riding a fast horse travels quickly to join me in Prague, but by the time he arrives I have moved on back to the familiar settings of Vienna. Poor, poor unfortunate Mina… She gets in another train ready to travel from Lisbon, yet that train also breaks down.

[Mina has been rolling absolutely terribly with the train… the Dark Lord’s agents must be interfering as she rolls another 0!]

***

Journal of Van Helsing, May 1st, 1898.

While trapped in Munich, Lord Godalming hires scouts who scour the nearby cities. No sign of the Count is found in Vienna, a city that is being approached by the three of us. But the scouts find Dracula’s trail in Zagreb! They also report sightings of bats flitting about the city. Close to Zagreb is St. Joseph & St. Mary’s Hospital, but knowing Dracula could not enter there, I deducted that the only place the Count could go to is Sarajevo! Doctor Seward and I hop on a train, and travel through Vienna to Budapest. Mina… my dear, poor, sad, Mina. It is better that I not write about her travels, or lack there-of. Hopefully she is enjoying the good seaside weather of Lisbon…

[Doctor Seward rolled a collective “2” on the red die while Mina once more rolls an X! This is rather pathetic; she has so far rolled an X, a 0, a second 0, and now another X!]

***

Journal of Van Helsing, May 5th, 1898.

The Count continues to move like a trapped animal down the coast. The good Doctor and I move via train once more through Szeged and arrive in Belgrade. I do not sense any evil in the city, but I feel the Count is close. Lord Godalming hears of dark stirrings in Zagreb and rides a fast horse through the city to arrive in the city of Sarajevo, knowing he is but one step away from the evil Dracula.

Mina… no comment.

[She rolls a 0 on the train die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]

As Godalming enters Sarajevo he realizes a hoax being played on him. While looking for the Count, he loses track of the time. But he can also feel the Count, nearby. We all have the same feeling… he is either in Sofia or Valona. Will we get to him in time?

[One of Dracula’s cards forces Godalming to discard an event card.]

***

Journal of Van Helsing, May 11th, 1898.

We almost have him! On the train again, Doctor Seward and I reach Salonica while Lord Godalming tears into Valona! Sweet Mina finally is able to get on a working train and moves east to Saragossa. We know the Count is trapped at Athens… but we’re out of time! Damn it to hell, damn it all to hell – the Count is about to board a ship and escape our net!

[I swear, Mina must be working for Count Dracula… she draws a Dracula event card after all that wasted time!]

***

Journal of Van Helsing, May 12th, 1898.

It is true!

He has boarded a ship and is now on the Ionian Sea. This is no guess – we know it. But where will he go? We still have a small chance of tracking him down – Lord Godalming is at the port city of Valona and has already taken to sea as well. Travelling with him is the nun, Sister Agatha. With not too many options left to us, the Doctor and myself head south and into Valona as well. Mina, now in a carriage continues on east to Toulouse.

[Lord Godalming is the first to receive an ally, and it is a good one. Sister Agatha can hurt Dracula through her fervent prayers!]

Godalming travels via boat to the Tyrrhenian Sea whilst the Doctor and I also board a ship and find ourselves in the Ionian Sea. Mina continues in carriage to the large city of Marseilles. Another newspaper report makes mention of activity in the port city of Athens. That is where the Vile Count must have departed to sea!
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Journal of Van Helsing, May 21st, 1898.

[The next except includes two rounds of play.]

We are closing in on the Count once more!

On a whim, Lord Godalming makes landfall in Genoa and then travels east to Venice. Searching for the Count, he breaks into a mansion and is attacked by a Vampire! He is able to slay it, but not before he is bitten. Recouping in his hotel, Godalming (like the Lord he is) recruits his second ally, Rufus Smith. If Dracula goes to sea again, he shall suffer a heavy penalty! Mina travels to Milan, while Doctor Seward arrives in the port city of Genoa. I make landfall in Venice, joining my good friend Godalming. Dracula attempted to fool us - but we are close on his heels once more! Mina is the first to attempt to find the Count’s location… foolish girl! But she travels via carriage and into the city of Munich…

She should have known better… travelling down the city streets of Munich at midnight is foolishness, especially when Count Dracula really *IS* in the city! The carriage runs over a large rock placed on the road and the wheels tear off! Mina leaps out even as the carriage careens off to the side.

Standing before her is the Count.

“Mina….” The voice invades her head. “I have missed you.”

“Dracula… you… your powers do not affect me any longer! I am not yours to command!”

“That is unfortunate, my child. Very unfortunate, indeed.” The Count points at Mina and a gypsy woman rushes her, brandishing a large knife! “Kill her.”

Battle ensues!

[Battles will be documented in detail.]

Round 1: Mina pulls out a knife and the two women leap at each other. Mina rolls a 6! The gypsy woman rolls a 5 – and since the fight is in Eastern Europe she gains a +1… they tie, but Dracula’s Agent has a faster blade and strikes Mina, drawing first blood! (-1 health).

Round 2: Mina punches at the Gypsy and the Gypsy also punches back! Mina rolls a 3. The Gypsy rolls a 2 +1 for a 3. Again, the gypsy woman’s initiative is faster (2 vs. 1) and she strikes Mina! (-1 health).

Round 3: Once more the women slash at each other. Mina rolls a 3. The agent rolls a 1. Mina wins the roll. She dodges the gypsy’s knife and slides it into her stomach! The gypsy screams and falls.
Mina looks for the Count. She seems him, smiling, and he makes another hand gesture. Another gypsy woman rushes at Mina!

Round 1: Again the first knife-strike slashes Mina (-1 health), but as the Gypsy moved forward Mina backhands her in the face. The woman collapses. Wounded, Mina stood in front of the Count, who slowly approaches.

Round 1: Dracula attempts to bite Mina, and she fights him off with a knife. She rolls a 3 and Dracula rolls a 5. She suffers -1 health. Dracula winces as Sister Agatha prays from a distant city even as he bears his fangs at Mina (Dracula loses 2 health from the Sister’s prayers).

Round 2: Mina tries to claw at the Count, but he moves aside. Somehow she still nicks him. She rolled a 6, he rolled a 5. But he still dodges and takes no damage.

Round 3: Dracula stares at Mina, and she finally falls under his power. He approaches the mesmerized Mrs. Harker and sinks his teeth into her. Screaming, she collapses. Several civilians are already running toward the fight, and Count Dracula disappears into the night, leaving an unconscious Mina on the ground.

[Defeated, Mina is taken to St. Joseph & St. Mary’s Hospital. Dracula gains 2 on his Vampire Track. Note: This battle was played poorly, as Mina had a Stake AND a Crucifix. Having fought the two Gypsies, for some reason she just kept using the knife when she should have used some of the more “holy” weapons. Live to learn, as they say!]

***

Journal of Van Helsing, June 1st, 1898.

Dracula moves. He could have gone to Milan, Zurich, Nuremburg, or Vienna. I believe he’s heading north, and I’m trying to convince my companions of the same.

Godalming travels with me north into Munich, but the Count has already escaped. Poor Godalming, he only wants to head east to the hospital but I remind him that the Count is near, and personal feelings can be left until later. Doctor Seward wants to board the train and take it to Zurich, but a telegraph I sent him sets him via horseback to Milan, just in case the Count has moved that way. Alas, he has not. I realized too late that I had learned a little in the art of Hypnosis, and could have hypnotized Lord Godalming into helping us find Dracula. I will do this as soon as I can!

***

Journal of Van Helsing, June 9th, 1898.

Dracula has moved again, and we have completely lost his trail.

[One of his Vampires has matured! After biting and defeating Mina, and the Vampire maturing - Dracula’s Vampire Track is at 5, with ONE last turn left until Dawn. The Vampire Track is moving to 6… and the Dark Lord’s victory!]

I use my skills in hypnotism on Lord Godalming, and he begins to speak, describing the city in which Dracula now resides – he is in Strasbourg! With the final dawn approaching, we MUST reach the Dark Lord and slay him! Oh, Lord - can anyone reach him in time?

***

Journal of Van Helsing, June 10th, 1898.

Godalming sense the state of emergency at the approaching dawn, and finds whatever means he can find to reach Strasbourg!

[Godalming plays the “State of Emergency” card which lets him move to ANY location on the board. It costs him 1 health.]

He finds the house Dracula resides in and breaks down the door. He senses Dracula hiding within, but before he can do anything a wave of bats fly out, surrounding him. He feels himself being taken control of, unable to move his very limbs!

[Godalming is out of the race… next turn Dracula controls him and can move him away from the city – and next turn the Count wins!]

Doctor Seward rushes into the train and attempts to reach Strasbourg! He screams in frustration as the train suffers a breakdown and he must sit in defeat while the crew begins to fix their train.

[Bad timing, especially in the endgame - Doctor Seward rolls a 0 on the train die!]

Mina and I are the last two to act, but poor Mina has only just recovered and the roads from the hospital are treacherous, with no railway connecting the hospital to any city. She reaches as far as Zagreb. I am the only one left who can stop the Dark Lord, and all I am left with is both luck and the grace of God. In Munich I am (barely) within Western Europe, and my only hope is to jump on a train and travel from Munich all the way to Nuremburg, then Frankfurt, and finally Strasbourg. Damn you, Count Dracula. Damn you! I leap aboard the train…

… and the train breaks down.

[Roll of 0!]

The Dark Lord has WON! Forcing Lord Godalming out of the city with his dread powers, the last of Dracula’s Vampires have awakened throughout the land! Even as dawn breaks, the Count disappears, protected by his legion of loyal Gypsies and the stirring Vampires in his new Un-Dead Empire ready to rise at next twilight!

We are all damned!!! God save us all…

***

END Bram Stoker's "Revenge of Dracula"

*Credits roll*
 
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Barry Kendall
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Great write-up! Confound it, now you've got me thinking about buying another game. Too much of this and my wife will put a stake through my heart . . . .

It does seem that the European railway system is badly in need of technical assistance from the Baldwin Locomotive Works . . .

 
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