A small pocket-knife of the folding variety, with a mother-of-pearl handle and a razor sharp blade. This is not in any way magical or otherwise special, although it is of exceptionally high quality and a design that is now several hundred years old.
Claudia looks to all the world like a small human child about 10 years of age. She is invariably dressed in cloths suitable for a nobleman’s daughter and indeed carries herself in a manner that would suggest such a rank. However, she has about her a knowing quality, an almost indefinable worldliness that belies her tender years.
Claudia - human vampire - apparent age 10, actual age 500 - excellent combat skills - very good magical skills (particularly defensive and mind effecting magics)
Claudia is a vampire with a somewhat unusual personal history. She was, in life, the daughter of a powerful sorcerer but died tragically at the age of 10 (natural causes). Her father, heart-broken at her loss, begged the healer priests to resurrect her but they refused, for no other reason than that he was a wizard (priests can be so petty-minded).
Determined not to give in, he tried to resurrect her himself, employing all his arts and knowledge for the task. The problem of course was the time limit - if he did not act before the body started to decay it would be too late. Of necessity then his researches were somewhat rushed and he unknowingly made one or two invalid assumptions.
He worked night and day until, after several days’ work, Claudia finally opened her eyes and sat up. Believing that he had succeeded, he was overjoyed. Only later did he discover the awful truth. Something had gone terribly wrong. Although animate Claudia was not alive, instead she was a timeless undying mockery of life. He had turned his only daughter into a vampire.
Knowing that in her child’s body she would never be able to survive alone, he dedicated the rest of his life to caring for her and teaching her skills that would allow her to survive. Even after his death his spirit was unable to find peace, and so his ghost still guides and protects her (see below).
Despite the necessities of her undead existence, Claudia is actually a kind and gentle person. She is generally quite friendly with people but reluctant to admit her true nature (people can get so unreasonable about it). However, she displays a level of insight and understanding far in excess of her (apparent) age that people tend to find unnerving.
She doesn’t like killing if she can avoid it and has found that it is not actually necessary for her to do so (although some accidents are inevitable). Mostly she leaves her victims tired, somewhat dazed, and with only a minor wound or two to show for the experience.
She has long ago realised that biting her victims has a tendency to lead to all sorts of awkward questions so instead she cuts a vein with a small pocket knife that she keeps for the purpose. The theory is that people waking up in a back alley with knife wounds tend to assume they’ve been mugged, and this is in fact what normally happens. The problem is that she sometimes forgets to rob them as well (after all she doesn’t need the money) and then people start getting curious.
Every few years somebody either gets suspicious of the fact that she doesn’t seem to grow up, or simply recognises her for what she is, forcing her to move elsewhere. As a result she rarely stays in one city for more than a decade or so.
Claudia prefers the night as sunlight negates all of her innate powers (as well as being very draining), however she will sometimes move around during the day if she thinks somebody is hunting her (most people believe that sunlight kills vampires). She will not use this tactic if her persecutors are experienced vampire hunters since they are rarely fooled by it.
After 500 years of wealth accumulation (mostly stolen from her victims), Claudia is extremely rich (assume she has, for all practical purposes, an almost inexhaustible money supply). However since she is trapped in the body of a ten year old girl getting access to it can be difficult. Therefore her father performs all of her business transactions for her by simply possessing a servant (see the description of Daddy below) and posing as her secretary.
Supporting Character - her father’s ghost
Daddy - human ghost - excellent magical skills (most spells are available to him)
Daddy is the ghost of Claudia’s father. Claudia always refers to him as Daddy and, since he has long since forgotten his real name, he now thinks of himself in no other terms. Note that Daddy no longer has any independent existence and he is, in a very real sense, merely an extension of Claudia. Similarly Claudia cannot conceive of life (or to be more accurate unlife) without his aid. The result is that the pair acts almost as a single symbiotic entity.
A powerful sorcerer before his death, he still retains much of this power. He is quite capable of casting some extremely powerful spells and perfectly willing to do so to aid is daughter.
As a spirit Daddy has the ability to enter, and take control of, another person’s mind - a process commonly known as possession. This gives him complete control over his victim’s actions, effectively giving him a corporeal body, until such time as he chooses to leave (or is forced out). He regularly does this to aid Claudia in any business transactions she needs to engage in (buying or renting houses, banking and money management, hiring mercenary guards, etc). In addition, he sometimes uses this technique to bring victims back for Claudia to feed upon.
When he was alive, Daddy was known for creating enchanted guards from inanimate objects. His speciality was animating suits of armour (a difficult and draining process that can take years to recover from). He still retains this knowledge and has, on several occasions over the past 500 years, used it to create bodyguards for Claudia. Typically these are stationed at Claudia’s house to protect her during the day.
Enchanted Suits of Armour (x4) - combat skills: excellent with spear or fists
Witness to a Mugging: One night the PCs interrupt a group of local vigilantes attacking Claudia. These hotheads have worked out what Claudia is and they have decided to destroy her. How will the PCs react to a bunch of armed thugs attacking what appears to be an innocent ten year old girl?
Moving House: Claudia is planning one of her semi-regular house moves and joins the caravan the PCs are travelling in. Maybe she even hires the PCs as mercenary guards (well, Daddy does while in possession of a servant’s body). How long will it take the PCs to notice that something strange is going on (guards that never sleep or even take their armour off, people coming down with a strange sleeping sickness, a young girl who never comes out during the day, etc)? And when they find the reason, what (if anything) do they do about it?
The Mentor: Daddy (while in possession of a servant’s body) hires The PCs for some adventuring work. The PCs will likely think that the servant is a sorcerer or wizard and he (i.e. Daddy) may even become a teacher for a PC wizard. How long before the PCs work out that his new mentor isn’t always the near-genius sorcerer?
For a little extra fun have some local heavies work out what Claudia is. How will the PCs react when their (clearly insane) employer asks them to protect his daughter from a bunch of supposed murderers?
Feeding Time: One of the PCs becomes Claudia’s latest meal. This starts when Daddy possesses the PC and walks him to a pre-agreed meeting point. The PC wakes up in an unfamiliar back alley with a small wound (where Claudia fed from him), the mother of all hangovers, and no memory of how he got there.