Monster Hunters of the Church: New Orders for Your Night Shift: VSW Game

 These are just some ideas I've played around with in my home game. I had originally planned for them to go into the Night Companion, but frankly, that book ran long as it sits and we just didn't have the space. So I decided to throw out the sketchy notes I've got for people to use in their home games as they like. As such, here are a few new Night Clubs for your Night Shift: VSW games. 

The Order of the Dragon

The clandestine Order of the Dragon is the same order to which Vlad II Dracul, father of the infamous Vlad III "the Impaler" Dracula belonged. Originally, the Order was a chivalric order founded in 1408 and comprised of selected nobles dedicated to defending the cross and battling the enemies of Christianity—in particular the Ottoman Empire. Later, the Order was repurposed into a dedicated secret society promised to hunt down and destroy the minions of Satan, and vampires in particular.

 The Original Order

 During the first half of the 15th century the order flourished, especially in Germany and Italy. Its prominence waned after the death of Sigismund of Luxembourg, the Hungarian King and head of the order. It enjoyed a brief resurgence around 1453 after the Fall of Constantinople, and continued to be active in Eastern Europe, particularly in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, and Albania.

 The order was modeled after, and in some ways saw itself as a successor to, the Order of St. George, but entirely dedicated to battling the Ottoman Empire. Members wore the symbols of the red cross, the ouroboros, and an emblem which displayed a dragon being strangled by its own tail. Members were expected to abide by the order's statutes, which read, in part, that the society was created:

"… in company with the prelates, barons, and magnates of our kingdom, whom we invite to participate with us in this party, by reason of the sign and effigy of our pure inclination and intention to crush the pernicious deeds of the same perfidious Enemy, and of the followers of the ancient Dragon, and (as one would expect) of the pagan knights, schismatics, and other nations of the Orthodox faith, and those envious of the Cross of Christ, and of our kingdoms, and of his holy and saving religion of faith, under the banner of the triumphant Cross of Christ..."

 The 21 founding members were brutal, violent men, many of whom were despotic rulers, but all were dedicated to defending Christendom from the Ottoman Muslims.

The Betrayal

 Everything changed in December of 1476. Vlad III Dracula was defeated by the Ottomans and disappeared, reportedly murdered. He was then seen in January of 1477, apparently alive. Stories began to circulate among the populace that he had returned from the dead, having made a deal with the darkest forces to live forever, sustained by human blood, that he had gained powers over the creatures of the night and even over darkness itself, powers over the minds of men, and had become a true abomination, spitting in the face of everything the Order stood for.

 This betrayal of their legacy could not stand, and many among the order made it their life's obsession to track down and destroy Dracula. Many in the Order went underground, particularly after the warlike periods of battle against the Turks ended, and by the 17th century it had apparently come to an end. Indeed, precious few records of the Order exist at all—we have just enough to know its most important members and that it existed.

 In truth, the Church itself, after Vlad III became a vampire, repurposed the Order to hunt the supernatural, and let it go underground quietly sometime in the 1500s, and most people think it was just an archaic chivalric order which basically died out like most of them do. To most people, there aren’t even much in the way of records of the Order and very little is known about them.

Dracula is a long-standing enemy of the Order, who have never been able to destroy him. There’s a theory that he may be the host to the source of vampirism, though it’s known that vampires existed long before he came along, so HOW he became the source is a mystery (and it may not even be true; that’s just a theory).

The order is entirely made up of men, largely Divine Warriors, but more than a few Veterans are members. Today it is comprised both of descendents of the original members and new members who have shown a talent and obsessive passion for hunting and destroying the undead. Members know very little about the Order at large; all are required to carry a tattoo of the dragon insignia to identify themseves to other members: 

By NoPunIn10Did - File:Dragon_order_insignia.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Carrying this tattoo by those not a member of the order is tantamount to a death sentence. The order is fanatically dedicated to defending the Church against vampires and the minions of Satan, but the operative word is "fanatic." Even many clergy do not know of their existence, though almost every priest, monk, and nun out there knowns to take anyone bearing this tatttoo seriously and that they bear the authority of the Vatican. 


Members have access to vast resources, reporting directly to the Magisterium, but not all resources are immediately available; access to the Vatican Library and Archives, for example, requires travel to Vatican City, and calling in backup can sometimes take days, weeks, or even months, depending on how many other operatives are nearby and available. 

Ranks of the Order

The modern ranks of the Order of the Dragon are a mesh of the ranks of the Order of St. George, of common military, and of titles of nobility, and are as follows: 
  1. Postulant / Initiate
  2. Soldier of the Order
  3. Dragon of the Fourth Class (Sergeant)
  4. Dragon of the Third Class (Lieutenant)
  5. Dragon of the Second Class (Captain)
  6. Dragon of the First Class (Major)
  7. General of the Order of the Dragon
  8. Major General of the Order of the Dragon
  9. Count of the Order of the Dragon
  10. Grand Magister of the Order of the Dragon
Of the higher ranks, it is says there are only twenty Major Generals, ten Counts, and seven Grand Magisters, the latter being the ruling elite, a sort of "shadow council" that reports directly to the Magisterium among the College of Cardinals, and make decisions for the rest of the order. No one knows who exactly the Grand Magisters are, but it is said that there is a specific combination of phrases and code words, and complex ambigram tattoos that will identify one if needed, and which are instantly recognizable to any member, though no member knows specifically what they are. How it all works is one of the Order's greatest mysteries. 

The Divine Order of the Sisters of Orleans

There is, however, have a sister order of women: The Divine Order of the Sisters of Orleans (also called DOSO or The Order of Darc). 

The Founding of the Order

The order was founded in the year 1431, on the day after the supposed death of Jeanne d’Arc, who in fact was not burned that day; rather, in her place a lookalike was sacrificed so that Joan could be saved. The Pope himself intervened in this event; he had become aware that Joan had during her campaigns in the Hundred Years’ War battled far darker things than human foes, and that she and her inner circle had become quite adept at exorcism and battling the forces of Hell manifest on Earth. 

It is said by the Mothers of the Order that Joan never got over her guilt at allowing another to be sacrificed in her place, and never again took up her blade. She did, however, become the administrative leader of the order established in her name, and her knowledge as a scholar and sage was unparalleled. She was given unfettered access to the Vatican archives, and the Order even today holds this access. She lived to see her own exoneration in 1456, and died the following year after passing on the keys of leadership to the next Grand Master of the Order, who in her honor took the name Jeanne, as has every General since. 

Identifying Marks

As with the Order of the Dragon, the Sisters all wear a tattoo that identifies them as members. The tatoo nominally is of Joan's coat of arms: 

It is said, however, that there is a specific modifiecation common to all Sisters which every sister will note, but none will reveal, and is difficult to fake. This prevents impostors from masquerading as one of their order to infiltrate their ranks. 


Like the Order of the Dragon, the Sisters have access to vast resources, but they are a secret society within a secret society; even the Magisterium is not aware of their existence. They are ruled by a council of Grand Masters and Holy Mothers, of whom it is said there are only nine at any given time. All Holy Mothers are anointed nuns and Mothers Superior, on the level of Cardinals themselves (or at least as close as women can come within the Church hierarchy). Some say that Joan herself survives even down to this day and sits at the highest table of the order, answerable only to her own visions of the Virgin Mary, or perhaps the divine Sophia. Most in the order, regardless of what they have seen, dismiss this as a simple fiction to inspire the cause.

While similar to the Dragons, the Sisters of Darc may not have immediate access to their resources, their occult libraries are more mobile and accessible than the Vatican Archives, while offering a similar level of information. It is said that the primary house of the Sisters is in Orleans, France, as one might expect, and there, in a subterranean vault with hidden access, a vast library can be found. 

Sisters are generally stationed in cities in pairs or triads, and so can often call upon others for aid in times of dire need. They know a bit more about the structure and nature of their order, though they may not know about specific members or cells, as a defense to protect the Order overall. 

Ranks of the Order

The Order by and large has borrowed its ranks from the Knights Templar, but has blended these with common military ranks. There are 15 ranks, some of which have degrees. They are, from lowest to highest, as follows: 

  1. Sister
  2. Elder
  3. Corporal
  4. Standard Bearer
  5. Sergeant
  6. Under Marshal
  7. Knight
  8. Knight Commander
  9. House Commander
  10. Drapier
  11. General of Rome (Second General)
  12. General of Jerusalem (First General)
  13. Grand Marshal
  14. Seneschal
  15. Grand Master / Holy Mother

Degrees can be awarded within ranks, and are referred to as order. They serve to create a hierarchy within ranks, such that, for example, two groups of Mothers come together comprised of corporals, each overseen by an Under Marshal, one might be an Under Marshal 2nd degree, and one might be an Under Marshal 4th degree. The 4th degree Marshal holds authority over the 2nd degree Marshal. 

An increase in Order can be awarded by any officer of a higher rank. The only exceptions are Seneshcal and Grand Master, with there being only one of each of these ranks at any time, and Sisters, who form the rank and file and have no Orders among them. Promotions in true rank can only be awarded of an officer of Knight Commander rank or higher. 

The Sisters are more of a general order dedicated to defending humanity against the supernatural. They view the Order of the Dragon as a group of fanatical buffoons with the occasional worthwhile member, and by and large they keep their own existence secret from the Dragons, revealing themselves only very rarely and to a member of the Order of the Dragons that they feel is truly trustworthy. Mistakes have been made in the past, which ended up coming to bloody conclusions. 

Interested in more options for your Night Shift: VSW game? Grab a copy of the Night Companion, now available for pre-order from our web store!

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