Annual Meetings of the Ancient Vampire Club of Rome and the Black Widow | STAR
It happens every summer. It is always during the same month but generally never on the same day as the prior year. The date of every meeting that will take place is always set one year in advance and it changes for no one. If someone does not make it, they get nothing. You make time or you wait an entire year and hope for an invitation for the next one. No exceptions.
A large amount of the group is immortal and there are a handful of which that are the actual original members from when the group was first founded. They are vampires but they only allow themselves to be identified as such during this specific meeting. The only members that are not still alive today are those that chose that they were ready to die or had threatened to expose the group in the past. The group does not tolerate the threat of exposure of their secrets and have been known to eliminate those who betray or may betray the oath. The oath disallows people within the group to share secrets with those outside of the group. If the oath is betrayed, the person will drop dead where they stand.
Every member is rich and powerful in one way or another. The club has seen many faces. Some continue to support and or attend the meetings. Almost all previous Popes have attended these meetings. A few past presidents like George W Bush, Bill Clinton, and on one occasion Barack Obama as well have attended this meeting, all of which had been in association with the group before presidency. There are also people like Michael Jackson (trust me, he is alive), Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and Gwyneth Paltrow to be found at these meetings as well. There are a whole host of famous people, some of which you know and others you don't. We have even found that Hillary Clinton, alongside her husband, has been present during one of these meetings.
The meetings follow a strict schedule and generally last only a small portion of the day - as long as it takes to complete the ritual. There is no nonsense, not much socializing and no other activities to take too much time.
The meetings usually happen early in the morning. Everyone gathers in a location that is always decided along with the date one year in advance. There is a five minute window for arrival, after which the doors are closed and the ritual is immediately begun.
There is a series of people that are offered as sacrifices, usually people of very low status with very few family members or popularity - something that can easily be covered up. One of these people is selected by the group as a whole. They are bound to a beam at the center of a hollowed out round table. In a neat circle, each member of the club will place their item of choice at the feet of the sacrifice and then take their seat at the table.
As the ritual is spoken, each member voices their desire and then partakes in speaking the words of the ritual, toward the end of which the sacrifice's wrists are cut and they are left to bleed out slowly. The blood forms a shallow pool around their feet over time and eventually covers all of the items. When the words are done being spoken, the sacrifice spontaneously becomes engulfed in a blue flame, which does not spread but primarily eats away at the body of the sacrifice. The items are then empowered and each member present is granted the years of life that would have been lived by the sacrifice.
This is one of the pieces that had been granted during the very last annual meeting. It will naturally draw vampires to you, especially those of a higher class.
Alongside the additional years of life, this piece grants the holder the ability to draw unique and sacred power, which provides four specific things. The first is a sacred spiritual shield, which deflects nefarious omens, spirits and or nature. The second is referred to as sacred thorns, which is essentially the ability to punish those who wrong you or intend to wrong you by reflecting their intentions back on to themselves. Any wrong they try to do to you will become self inflicted. The third power you gain is called a halo, which is more like a veil. It allows you to be perceived by others however you wish to be perceived, with the added bonus of being persuasive. Lastly, you gain what is referred to as the sacred flame, which is essentially the ability to create whatever you desire from the ashes of something else. This can be used in many ways and does not require something to be destroyed in order to work. It just means that you can create something - anything you desire - with the pieces or foundation of something that already exists - spirits, entities or items of power - and make it anything you desire. This is pure power.
The surface of the stone is pitch black, it's type is unknown - it is NOT glass - and can be used a scrying stone - one of the most powerful ones you will come across. Ring is a size 10.