arantzain (arantzain) wrote in roleplayers,

Unwholesome Variations on the "Escort Quest"

I'm running an online scenario for another player, and would welcome the community's suggestions on how to make this properly harrowing.

Game: OWoD, Vampire, Revised and 2e hodgepodge.
Setting: Little Rock, Arkansas, circa 1954.

My player's character is a Nosferatu (ugly + sneaky, for those unfamiliar with the system) with about three decades of life as a vampire under his belt. Circumstances--read: blackmail and the threat of worse--find him performing a fetch-and-carry mission for a Sabbat Templar.* The player is traveling in a small group of Nosferatu NPCs; two of these are old friends of the character's, and the primary victims of the blackmail.

The fetch-and-carry looks pretty simple on the surface: this Sabbat wants a single human retrieved from a suburb of Little Rock, AR and brought to her in Miami. He is willing, but elderly, and needs protection to get across country.

But as they've gotten into southern Missouri, they've started to hear stories from their contacts. Barely-remembered rumors, the usual claptrap that's associated with witches. Seems he's a local myth, a bogeyman who hasn't been seen since the Civil War. Devil's horses, birthing horrors--still, it was all a long time ago.

The character's seen enough of the world by this point to be a little wary, but I have plans to undermine that some, both via individuals they encounter and through the assignment himself--he's a cheerful, absent-minded old southern gentleman, with a sugar suit and snowy beard--a rather portly Dumbledore, if you want.

He is also, as the rumors suggest, an immensely practiced Infernalist.

So, on the surface, I want this to play like any escort quest--the player character and his companions have to get the jolly, nattery old fellow with the bad reputation across a thousand miles of swamp and backwoods south. I have vague plans for a torch-wielding mob and an attack by another agent of hell, but could probably benefit from a crash course in southern Gothic. (I'm working on that.)

But at the same time, I want this Infernalist to be working his wiles on the player character and his companions--gradually turning them against one another, picking at their control over the Beast. I want him to become a source of horror--one that the character cannot escape, kill or harm, without violating his word.

Thoughts about horrific elements to bring in, good stories or resources to investigate, to make this as harrowing as possible?

*deliberately improbable--the player hasn't questioned this set-up yet, but I'm hoping to make her think about it during this journey.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, and please pardon the cross-posting.
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