James’s Note: In this episode we get a little more insight into vampire society. I always love getting to make up societies from scratch. I feel like your standard urban fantasy vampires are a great stand in for modern society and if nothing else, an interesting way to reflect on our problems.
Israel nodded, “That would be our own wayward sons. I wanted to rile people up, like we did in the old days. I wanted to make people yearn for freedom. Turns out I did too good of a job in some people’s cases.”
“You see, in the Brotherhood, we’re all about working through the system. Take me for example. I’m plenty old enough to hold a city. I might not be a match for some of the great old Methuselah’s out there, but there aren’t enough of those to preside over every city anyway. I’ve even been offered a few, but I won’t take them. Instead, I’m trying to be a voice that says we can run things a different way. Yes, vampires are dangerous. So are humans. There is a way forward through voluntary association, democratic process, and the non-aggression principle.”
I was already starting to see where this was going. “And I’m betting that wasn’t happening anywhere near fast enough for some of your young brash revolutionaries.”
“You’d win that bet. We try to adhere to the non-aggression principle. The only acceptable use of violence or force is to prevent the use of force and violence on another. Some of our members were of the opinion that they had been aggressed upon their entire existence, so force and violence were already justified a thousandfold. We tried to explain why that was a bad idea. Even disregarding the moral question, you’re left with the logistics of trying to make war on beings who could make an angry mob walk off a cliff by asking nicely.”
Israel sagged in his chair, tilting back again. “But they wouldn’t listen. After a while, we had to disassociate with them. So they formed their own group.”
Israel looked grave. ”They’re called the guillotine Society.”
Now this I found interesting. “So all the threats vandalism and graffiti…”
Israel nodded. “That would be them.”
“So you think they’re responsible?” I asked.
Israel snorted. “Oh hell no. For one, I doubt they could get their shit together well enough to even attempt this kind of maneuver much less actually succeed.”
That was probably a good point, but there was always a chance Israel was underestimating his wayward sons.
“Besides,” he added wearily, “if by some miracle they had managed to pull off this kind of take down, the devastation would have been apocalyptic. Not a single one of them is even out of their human lifespan. Their vampiric powers amount to parlor tricks. I’m sure you know that when it comes to vampiric power, that first century is when we really start to mature. The only way they could take down a master vampire would be the human way. They’d probably need an ICBM to take out a bastard like Conchobar. From what you showed me of that picture, it just doesn’t look like their MO.”
It was my turn to sigh. “I actually agree with you. I have to admit, so far I’m kind of stumped. My next step is going to be to go talk to these Guillotine gentleman. I’m sure that’ll be as much fun as giving a grizzly bear a root canal.”
“Um, about that. No offense, Witcher man, I’m sure you can take care of yourself. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re so able to take care of yourself that if you go storming in there asking questions, we’re going to end up with a bunch of dead vampires. That is literally what I created this entire stupid organization to keep from happening. So I’ll make you a deal. I’ll come with you and introduce you in. All I ask is that you don’t kill anybody.”
I wobbled my head back and forth in a weighing the options kind of gesture. “Sounds reasonable. I won’t kill anyone who doesn’t kill me first.”