Dracula Dossier Location: The Retirement Home

In celebration of the lovely Spanish translation of the Dossier, some added content for the Campaign That Never Stops. 

A somewhat dilapidated facility out in the countryside, surrounded by fading gardens. If it’s in the UK, it’s called Milton House; in Romania, Casa Sântoaderi. The aged residents while away their remaining hours watching television, playing bridge or chess, slowly ambling around the grounds, or staring out the window. The staff are diligent when it comes to taking care of the residents’ physical needs, but pay little attention otherwise. Visitors are a rarity.

If only they listened. Some of the residents have such stories to tell…

A great many of the key non-player characters in the Dracula Dossier are fairly, ah, long in the tooth, so the campaign likely involves at least one or two visits to nursing homes, retirement communities, hospices and graveyards. Depending on the needs of your campaign, Milton House might be an ordinary retirement home with only a single notable resident, a Prisoner-meets-Last of the Summer Wine nursing home for ex-spies, or a Conspiracy front.

Cool: Not so much cool as luke-warm; the temperature of cooling rice pudding, of blankets tucked over the legs, of rain from a grey sky trickling down the rattling windows. The whole places smells of antiseptic and boredom; the drone of daytime tv that no-one’s actually watching merges with the remorseless tick of the grandfather clock to give the impression that the place is a waiting room. It’s lonely and depressing; the arrival of the Agents to ask a few questions is the most exciting thing that’s happened all year.

Warm: If it’s run by spies, then Tradecraft notes that the orderlies march with military discipline and carry concealed weapons; Electronic Surveillance spots the state-of-the-art alarms and guesses that the rooms are all wired for sound (canny residents know you hold important conversations outside, by the tinkling fountain). Medicine/Reassurance or a plausible Cover gets the Agents past the front desk, but all visitors are logged.

If it’s a weird Conspiracy thing, then the house has a crumbling medieval chapel that has to be a Gothic folly. Architecture gives the unsettling feeling that the house’s layout doesn’t make sense – corridors lead nowhere, or join at unlikely angles; some rooms are inaccessible. Allegedly senile residents watch the investigators with hooded eyes, as if someone else is using them as remote cameras. Other residents refuse to go outside, as they fear being eaten by wolves (the staff insist it’s just a stray dog that wandered onto the grounds once).

What would Dracula want with a retirement home? Some options:

  • Exerting his unnatural (necromantic? Telluric?) energies, he keeps those who live here from dying. It’s a library of living books – or a prison for his enemies.
  • It’s a collection of potential vampire recruits. If the Count needs a disposable assassin, he can turn one of the residents into a vampire, restore their youth with blood, and send them out to kill.
  • It’s his modern-day lair. The Count appeared to be an old man when he first met Harker; why might an immortal not hide among other ancients? It lacks the grandeur, true, of a Carfax Abbey or a Castle Dracula, but Dracula learned from past mistakes. He must be patient, like a spider, spinning his plots in secret. Waiting not for death, but victory…

Connections: Potential/likely residents include (deep breath) – Lucy Blythe (DH p. 41), the Former Gehlen Org (DH p. 82), the Pensioner (DH p. 86), “Van Sloan” (DH p. 87), “Cushing” (DH p. 92; his daughter’s a regular visitor), the Defector (DH p. 93), or  the Retired MI6 Asset Runner (DH p. 98). Dr. Jacqueline Seward (DH p. 47) might be the facility’s go-to oncologist.

Digging into the home’s finances with Accounting might connect it (or one particular patient) to Century House, a charitable fund that pays for ex-MI6 staff, or to Burdett’s (DH p. 143) or Klopstock & Billreuth (DH p. 145).

In the UK, the retirement home could be a restored Hillingham (DH p. 190) or Ring (DH p. 172) if it’s not in Exeter (DH p. 167); in Romania, it might be in the same spa town as the Scholomance (DH p. 219), and have the original Radu machine (DH p. 276) in the attic.

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.