The Shadow Network
The Red Cap
NWoD Relics: THE RED CAP (•••)
Life in a street gang is never easy, and is rarely very long. This hard truth was driven home when the Side Street Boys were attacked in a drive-by while walking back from a bar. Dobs “Doberman” Williams was the only one left alive, having suffered only a grazing wound to the head after the smoke cleared. His iconic white bandana drenched red from the injury, he dipped it in the blood of his fallen brothers and swore to avenge them before fleeing the scene.
In the weeks that followed, he stalked and killed every perpetrator of the attack. Quickly he came to realize that something rendered him protected from harm and his attacks grew more brazen. For so long as he wore, he could walk through a hail of bullets and stride through fire with barely a scratch.
When the last member of the gang that had killed his friends was dead, Dobs turned his attention back to mundane crime. He was stabbed to death a week later when he challenged a rival to a fight, confident in his protection.
This stained red bandana evokes that of the myth of the Red Caps, malicious fey spirits from european folklore that bathed their eponymous hats in the blood of their enemies for protection and power. It is possible that other versions of this relic have appeared through the ages, lost to time because of their inherently fragile natures.
Stained a crusty brown, this bandanna was once an unadorned piece of stark white cloth. Now it is a putrid color, with the consistency of dry leather that cracks and flakes when moved.
Despite its name, the red cap does not need to be worn as a cap; it can be tied around an arm, hand, or neck and provide the same benefit. The only requirement is that it must be touching the skin of its wearer to provide any benefit. If this connection is broken, even for a moment, the protection it provides is lost until it is activated again.
To activate the protection of the cap, a wielder must dip it into the blood of a slain friend and swear to avenge them. For so long as the wearer pursues the victim’s killers, he is immune to all lethal and bashing damage from physical sources. Furthermore, the wearer gains the effects of the Obsessed Condition (9-again on all rolls related to the obsession, loses 10-again on unrelated rolls) with regards to seeing vengeance done.
Once the vengeance is complete, the protection ceases to function, and it must receive new blood and a new oath to provide its benefit again. It is worth noting that this protection does not extend to toxins or suffocation.