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Comic Book / Vampire: The Masquerade (Vault)

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Show me your teeth.

Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter's Teeth is a comic book by Tim Seeley, Tini Howard, and Blake Howard. It is published by Vault Comics and is set in the Old World of Darkness with the Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition rules for its setting.

The story follows two vampires in the Twin Cities (Saint Paul and Minneapolis). Cecily Bain is a former Anarch turned servant of the Camarilla, trading flawless service in exchange for more freedom than most. Her sister's dementia and the weight of years is slowly driving her mad and she adopts a newly created vampire named Alejandra. Colleen Pendergrass is a Thin Blooded Anarch embraced by her Husband against her will. She now is part of a group of struggling survivors living on the edge of Kindred society.

This series contains the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear:
    • Mitch and Colleen had to leave their children behind because they were a threat to them as vampires.
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    • Cecily slowly losing her sister to dementia.
  • All There in the Manual: Each issue contains NPC write-ups, loresheets, or other game related information. This both adds value to tabletop gamers but also helps expands the lore for each character.
  • All for Nothing: The Anarchs make an elaborate and lengthy trip across Minnesota, only to find their employer Arlen Haight, is already dead and they are no longer needed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The first arc ends with Cecily talking her way out of the Blood Hunt for the Prince's execution and finally getting the Camarilla to stop trying to make her one of their official enforcers. It also reveals that Alejandra is a plant from the Second Inquisition. The Anarchs finally arrive and are revealed to be old friends of Cecily. It also reveals one of them is working for the Ministry.
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  • Bullying a Dragon: Elena Kowalski's husband shouts at Calder Wendt for letting his wife die. He then says that he gave him millions over the years and that the Prince works for him. This, unsurprisingly, gets him killed by the Justicar present for his blanket disrespect.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A constant feature of the Kindred society.
  • Decadent Court: The Camarilla of the Twin Cities is described as this by Cecily. We don't see much of it but it is proven correct when the Prince is killed by Calder Wendt.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: There's a strong implication that Prince Merrain's artistic and sophisticated delusions are just that. We never get to find out if it's true.
  • Dhampyr: Thin Bloods are more alive than dead and fill this role in the setting.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Cecily murders Cordell's girlfriend before his eyes and taunts him about it before telling him to get back to work for the Camarilla. Cordell then becomes an Anarch and makes any and all promises conditional on the death of Cecily. It doesn't work out for him due to getting targeted by hunters and the information retrieved by Cecily.
  • Disco Dan: Much fun is had at Cecily but others that the 80s and 90s Gothic Punk scene has been dead for decades.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Ian Carfax is enough to send the new Prince of the Twin Cities into fearful quivering.
    • The Mortician is apparently a vampire hunter who uses a clawhammer to eliminate the undead.
  • Easily Forgiven: Cecily more or less shoves all the events of the first five issues under the rug for issue #6.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Cecily murders the girlfriend of a Kindred, Cordell, in order to protect the Masquerade, sadistically taunting him with the fact she never would have revealed the truth to anyone else.
  • Foreshadowing: The Hunters in Issue #3 have a mortician's hammer.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Generally averted. The protagonist starts the book by murdering an innocent woman to protect the Masquerade and almost every other vampire is shown doing something horrible. The only one who shows any sign of being this trope is Colleen and she's a Thin Blood.
  • Gothic Punk: The book invokes the attitudes of the tabletop game but also acknowledges it's been twenty years since the game's heyday. Its protagonist, Cecily Bain, is a former Riot Grrrl who bemoans most of her former colleagues are either old or soccer moms even on the youngest side. Even so, it's still a bright pair of modern cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul) full of vampires preying on an unsuspecting populace.
  • Hate Sink: Actually rare in the book due to the Villain Protagonist and Antihero nature of the cast. A few exist, though.
    • The Wolves in Sheeps' Clothing are a bunch of cannibalistic organ-harvesting cyborg psychopaths who revel in their murder.
    • Elena Kowalski runs the Cull where she kidnaps a bunch of mortals, tortures them in a sadistic manner knowing that they won't live to break the Masquerade, and revels in their fear.
  • Hunter of Monsters:
    • The Second Inquisition shows up in issue 2# and almost takes out Colleen's coterie.
    • Issue 3# introduces the "Wolves in Sheeps' Clothing" that are a ghoul vampire hunting organization.
    • Another vampire hunter almost takes Cecily out in issue 6#. Cecily makes a Buffy reference, only to end up skewered when it turns out they're a professional.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: It's only a matter of days before Calder Wendt starts falling apart as Prince of the Twin Cities. It's even more pathetic when he turns to Cecily for help given he just called a Blood Hunt on her.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • The Wolves in Sheeps Clothing are slaughtered to the man and good riddance.
    • Elena Kowalski only lasts a single issue despite her write-up and no one is sad to see her fall to Hunters.
  • Killed Off for Real: Cordell and Prince Merrain are killed in issue #3.
  • Morality Pet: All Kindred have these, sometimes verging on a Morality Chain.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Cecily and Alejandra steal a flash drive containing information on the Prince's weaknesses. So, when the Prince is killed it becomes evidence against her and a Blood Hunt is called.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Cecily is a jaded, nihilistic, and sadistic vampire who has given up all of her idealism to become exactly the sort of monster she used to fight. Colleen is an idealistic, even friendly, young woman dealing with problems beyond her control.
  • Tears of Blood: Calder Wendt breaks out into a bloody sweat of fear out of Ian Carfax. Note: according to the rules, this is impossible.
  • Sssssnake Talk: The reveal that Priscilla, the Toreador Anarch, is really a Setite/Ministry snake-in-the-grass is capped by her hissing, "God has sssssuch planssss for you!"
  • Straight Gay: Mother Joe is a former Boxer whose name is ironic.
  • Vampire Monarch: Prince Samantha Merrain is the ruler of the Twin Cities. She's swiftly replaced by Calder Wendt after being killed.
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs:
    • Mother Joe's night club, Year Zero, is the local Kindred hangout.
    • The Double Down is a former hardcore punk club that now caters to soccer moms and dads hoping to recapture their youth.
  • Villain Protagonist: Cecily is evil. There's no two ways about it. A Downplayed Trope example as all the characters are vampires and only one seems to be a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Despite getting an issue devoted to her and her court, Samantha Merrain is killed in her second appearance.
  • Wicked Cultured:
    • Prince Merrain gets this by virtue of being a Toreador Elder.
    • King Rat, amusingly, is a big James Clavell fan.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: How Princes are typically replaced. Also, how Calder Wendt became Prince of the Twin Cities.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Elena Kowalski threatens a ten year old in hopes of getting a chance to murder a innocent nurse.
    • Calder Wendt turns out to be similarly so, ordering Ali to kill the same child. She doesn't.

Alternative Title(s): Vampire The Masquerade Winters Teeth


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