What would a "king" want?

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Ok, so I'm a bit stuck again and I've come here as usually this is a great place for ideas/advice.

The game is in Eberron but that shouldn't matter, really.

The PCs have all travelled to Q'barra and through various attempts discovered they are not quite the spies they thought they were.  They are unable to complete the mission they were asked (stealing something from the human king's vault) but do not want to leave it unresolved.  [admittedly, this is partly my fault as I thought at least someone had some bluff/stealth/theivery and it would all be fine, that was not the case, oops]

Anyway, they began looking for alternate ways of getting the job done and one path has led them to meeting a vampire "king" and his court.  This King is very old and has had a really long time to build up his position and fortune.  He can easily help the PCs get what they want, the problem is, I'm having trouble thinking of what he would want.  He's crazy old and powerful, wouldn't he have everything he wanted already?

Any help would be very appreciated.  And if possible, I would love this item/favor/whatever to really make the PCs stop and go "what?" for a second.  Just something truly fantastic and out-of-nowhere.

Thanks!
A childhood toy.

To hear an original idea or joke.

A way to enjoy a sunrise or to see a special place in daylight (without buring up).

The first born children of the heroes.

The right to an undeniable favour at some time in the future.

The blood of a creature that only exists in the sunlight (perhaps some kind of creature that lives during the day, but is a stone statue at night).

Perhaps he wants them to answer a riddle for him (this post reminds me of a riddle: "What do the poor have and the rich require. The miser spends and the spendthrift saves. What all men take to their graves." the answer being Nothing.)

Perhaps you should simply have the old vampire king ask outright what the PCs can offer him, as he has everything. Throw the onus on them to come up with something he might desire, with a skill challange based around what they can find out about him (history, likes, dislikes, family).
This is something you should ask on the Eberron board. There's a small group of us who really love Eberron, and can probably give you wonderful ideas. It would also help to let us know the metaplot of your game, and what else has transpired. 

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He could have a mission for them relating to regional politics, something that he could do himself but would find inconvenient because of the travel distance.

He could also want something related to his distant past, requiring an archaelogical dig maybe.

He could be really, really bored and want clever entertainment.

He could not have anything he wants immediately but demand their service for a year. 
I like the idea of finding a way to view a sunrise.

That said, what if he no longer wishes to be a vampire? A cure for vampirism would be a pain in the ass for the heroes to get.

He could long for death in a world that has grown miserable. His court and servants may be out to overthrow him, and he realizes this. But he has not the strength to fight it. Yet, he knows that his untimely death at the hands of outsiders would screw over all those that plot against him. It would create a void of power that no one can rightly take a stab at except for his own son because everyone will be arguing it over. Then you get to have a nice adventure or three where the heroes have to find out who his son is and bring him forward to take his rightful place.

He may want to turn one of the PCs into a vampire.

Just a few ideas off the top o' mah head. 
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I'd think a high priority for a vampire king would be to get the sun blotted out. 24/7 darkness or something similar.

Someone to deal with his sole remaining rival, the van-helsing knock off? 

To become a daywalker of some sort.

More thralls

A pure soul to turn into a vampire as some sort of ultimate vampire ritual. 

What about his wife, who is not a vampire and left him when he turned. (I assume he was a king before vampire in this scenario)The PCs can track her down, and convince her to come see him. Obviously the vampire can mislead and twist the story some. "She is mind controlled by some evil wizard and totally would want to come back otherwise. Better kill the wizards minions who protect her" when in reality she is a powerful queen/princess/ruler of some people and just doesn't want to go.

Does he have any non-vampire motivations?  That might be a fun twist. "Im the VAMPIRE VAMPIRE guy. I'd like a ___ that has nothing to do with vampires. What vampirism is not the only aspect to who I am."

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He wants the True Death. But only from heroes he considers worthy. If the PCs complete their quest, he considers them worthy and lets them stake him.

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The requited love of a lost daughter.   Nothing says poignant like father/daughter dynamics, especially with vampires where all sorts of angst is likely to result from the "creation of new children".  The whole task is a ton harder if the daughter has been dead for a century or so.
I'd think a high priority for a vampire king would be to get the sun blotted out. 24/7 darkness or something similar.



No sun means no life, no life means no blood, no blood means no vampires (or at least makes unlife harder for vampires).  So probably not...unless...



  • This vampire king wants to get into politics.  While it sounds like he has lots of power, he probably has (relatively) little influence in the politics of the Five Nations.  To change that, he wants to steal the throne of King Klaus. 

  • All he needs the PCs is to cause a distraction that will allow him to get close to and replace one of Klaus's closest allies or family members (likely with the help of magic).  The PCs don't even need to be in on the plan at all.  Whatever task he sets them on can be completely tangential to his goal, so long as it provides an opening for either him or one of his more competent agents.


    • Bonus points if the vampire is actually a changling and retains his shapeshifting powers.



  • Once in position, he can begin his gambit for power.  If the party has any connections with Karrnath or the Cult of Vol, they might encounter his machinations from time to time.

  • If he succeeds in gaining the throne, he plans to use his new influence and undead army to manipulate the Draconic Prophecy.

  • Then, along with some sort of powerful ritual and/or artifact, he plans to make Dolurrh permanently coterminous and invoke the blood sun - The sun becomes blood red and no longer harms undead creatures.


    • Bonus points if all of that is somehow related to, or involves, the Mournlands or Cyre's destruction.



  • Obviously, he wants to rule the five nations with undead and/or create a haven for intelligent undead.  Right?  No.  His ultimate goal is to [campaign-specific plot twist here], which may or may not require some plane-hopping to resolve.

  • And finally, PROFIT.



Or maybe he just needs help getting ye flask.




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I'd think a high priority for a vampire king would be to get the sun blotted out. 24/7 darkness or something similar.



No sun means no life, no life means no blood, no blood means no vampires (or at least makes unlife harder for vampires).  So probably not...unless...


Its a fantasy world where the underdark presumibly exists. As do beings that live purely off of magical energies alongside beings that exist in planes that do not have a sun. He can eat them. You'd also assume only powerful vamps could eat those, meaning he would cement himself as head vamp, because he controls the food.

Also, being a vampire/undead he doesn't need life, and could be one of those nihlist everything should die villains.  Blood is hard to come by, but I don't know the exact effets of no blood on DND vampires and it really depends on edition. 3.5 has defintive effects, but I don't think it kills them if they don't drink. They just get unhappy. 4e just sort of leaves it open. Could be blood keeps them human looking and unaged or something. Could be it just tastes good. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

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Good points.
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I'd think a high priority for a vampire king would be to get the sun blotted out. 24/7 darkness or something similar.



No sun means no life, no life means no blood, no blood means no vampires (or at least makes unlife harder for vampires).  So probably not...unless.... 




It depends on here he wants the sun blotted out, if it is just in his country or domain , an area the size of a large modern city or county, or even a small country, then food for his subjects could be imported from other lands where the sun isn't blocked


But the Vampire could also be playing the odds, yes, No sun means no life, means no blood means no vampires. But he could also forsee his eventual demise at the hands of the living who are beyond his control and who can, at any time, come up with a hero or armies etc to be rid of him. No sun kills off his potential killers. Sure only a fraction of the population survives but it is an easily controlled population. And while he might eventually starve he might still last longer then if the sun was there with the ensuing armies and heroes who would have killed him off long ago.
Maybe he's figured out some magical means of farming blood?
I think a good approach would be to have the king ask the players what they could offer him. If none of the players come-up with something you like have the king ask for a favor in the future. This way you have a plot hook and can leave your players wondering what his true motives are.
Thank you all for the wonderful ideas!  I'm going to combine a few of them, roll it up, and spring it on the PCs and I think that it will be great.

Ogrim- I would love to do that and next time I'm stuck I will, unfortunately, I spent too long trying to solve this on my own and I don't have time now to place it on the Eberron boards, but I will keep that in mind for next time.  :D

Fireclave- Thank you for the ideas, but I could have done without the links to tvtropes, lol.  I have enough trouble escaping the gravitational pull of that site without you sticking direct portals on the forums :P 

All the ideas are wonderful and I'll probably wind up using each and every one eventually as the PCs really reacted favorably with this vampire NPC, so he'll likely stick around as a patronish-type.

Thank you, all, again!