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Vampire: The Danse Macabre (The Final Nights of Pendros)

Game Master Goblins Eighty-Five

"Life's not a song. Life isn't bliss, life is just this, it's living. You'll get along, The pain that you feel, you only can heal by living. You have to go on living,"
-Spike, Once more with feeling


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Male

Searching for information was not a difficult task. Like most of those raised post-internet, it was second nature to explore the various sources of information. Natasha's background came easiest. Russian born and raised until she was an adolescent, but Canadian after that. That explains the odd accent. Apparently deserted to avoid the recent wars, at least according to the official records. Thomas was about to look deeper into her supposed desertion when the Canadian government's security got him, and kicked him off their server. He was not in deep enough to arouse any serious suspicions; another few minutes, however...

Richard's information was not as easy to come by. Perhaps its because he is from the time prior to computer records. Either way, some information was found. He had some cover identity, born in 1999, and seems consistent with his outward appearance. Thomas thinks for a brief second before concluding how obviously fake this was. Further digging shows some old conspiracy website about time travelers. Well, if I didnt know about vamps, time travelling could be a solution. Either way, its clear he's been involved in some heavy government conspiracy stuff. Grassy knoll and stuff.

Satisfied, Thomas sleeps the following day away. Waking just after dusk, he spends a boring shift at work, the human kind, and takes an opportunity to feed just before ending his shift. A quick word with his supervisor before clocking out gets the idea of hiring a new EMT out there. His supervisor seems interested, and Thomas promises to pass along the information. He hesitates to give Natasha's name, not knowing how this whole fake paperwork business might work.

Before retiring for the day, he gives Natasha a call, using a few numbers he found in his sleuthing. Thinking he might pass along the news, there is no answer. Oh well, tomorrow night, then.

A fitful day's sleep, and Thomas wakes to prepare for the meeting. Throwing on a pair of jeans and a loose shirt, he heads out to the park mentioned two nights before.
Going to do some reading on the feeding rules, I'll update.


That was not the best news to wake to.

The Giovanni Group... Warehouse District...Chastity Maximoff...

Richard had the feeling that none of this would be news to the Queen. What was her angle? If she was trying to get him killed, sending him to poke around in Giovanni business wasn't a bad strategy- on the other hand maybe she just needed the Maximoffs distracted for a week or so and figured Richard would make a good fall guy... and what was the Maximoff's angle anyway? How could any possible benefit from deceiving neonates be worth the risk of defying Sasha's laws? He was just scratching the surface of this plot, whatever it was.

Checking over the financials, Richard was pleasantly surprised to note that one of his disputes had cleared arbitration. It wasn't much, but it gave him some breathing room; it was always nice to have a bit of liquidity. I'd like to spend 1xp to acquire Resources •

After the nightly brief from Iranis, Richard is ready to face the evening. First leaves a message with Zach's answering service, "Thank you for the prompt report, I can work with that information. My apologies for the odd hours, I'm such a night owl- got to keep up with the Chinese markets... you know how it is. Dinner at White Chapel sounds good, how about 7:30 tomorrow?"

Richard spends the first part of his evening working with a group of grad students who he'd helped start a nonprofit a few months back. After he gave them a few pointers on advertising, budgeting, and raising funds, he gave one fellow a ride home and caught up on news from the streets.

Rolls:
Feeding: Herd(4) + Presence(4) + Persuasion(5) = 13d10 ⇒ (6, 4, 8, 1, 2, 1, 9, 3, 1, 10, 9, 3, 3) = 60 + 9-again(3) 3d10 ⇒ (4, 5, 3) = 12 = 4 successes
Manipulation(3) + Streetwise (Rumors)(6) = 9d10 ⇒ (5, 8, 4, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 2) = 62 = 6 successes

Unless he hears back from Sam, that's all that Richard would be doing that's directly relevant to the story this night. The rest of his time is spent with boring, dry business/masquerade related stuff.


While Richard is holding court with his grad students, he may notice one older gentleman. If not for the disparity in age, the man would simply vanish into the architecture of the room he is in, as unremarkable as can be in his charcoal gray suit and dark blue tie.

As always happens when Richard leaves these sorts of meetings, there isastack of business cards from aspiring youngsters, hoping to find work that gets more profit than "non.". Among that stack is one that sticks out, in no small part because it has clearly been professionally printed (Most of the grad students make judicious use of Microsoft Word and pre-cut label sheets). Across the top is a two-color stripe of Indigo and Silver. Along the left side is an image of Aster Flowers. Finally, in simple black Copperplate font are a few words and a phone number:

Mister Phillip Esterhase, Interpreter.

The number is clearly a cell phone.


Male

Consider this a retcon. Taking place night number 1, 1 day following the meeting in the bar.

Feeding Rolls:

Intelligence + Medicine + 1 modifier(easily available)=
8d10 ⇒ (2, 4, 10, 3, 5, 8, 1, 6) = 39 = 2 successes, 10 again: 1d10 ⇒ 9
3 successes.

The night's shift started well and ended well for Thomas. He was always surprised at how easily it was to operate with his partner. People who work nights arent always the most reputable sorts, Paul turned a blind eye to Thomas's eccentricities. They had a good working relationship as it was. Paul was in his forties, balding and with a rapidly expanding stomach. Not the most social creature either, years of working third shift made him almost as pale as Thomas. Neither man asked too many questions, preferring a comfortable silence or the droning on of NPR in the truck. Paul drove, which allowed Thomas the privacy he needed to feed.

As for the hospital, his abilities as a paramedic meant that the physicians concerned themselves more with his good record than his working habits. His partner was always the one driving, but that was nothing too out of the ordinary.

Thomas had four calls over the course of the night: one older man who had a heart attack and called for himself, a young woman hit by a car while riding her bicycle, and two other car accident victims, both men. The one on her bicycle came with a boyfriend, who rode along with her. Unfortunate.

The three men were more than enough for Thomas, who secretly took pride that he was able to restrain himself. Too much blood taken would show up on the tests, and someone might catch on to the constant anemia. A light feeding from more than one meant they would stay within normal, but low, ranges. The feeling of pleasure he took from actually feeding was tempered by the need for perfection and precision in his acts.

His hunger sated, Thomas retired for the day. He tried calling Natasha, and there was no answer. Not unusual, by any means. The meeting was still on for tomorrow, he assumed.

Crap, had to end this abruptly, gotta see a client.


Richard idly twirls the business card as he considers, This Esterhase wants my attention; he delivers the message by hand and did not intrude in my affairs. Perhaps civility is not dead... but who was he? One of the New York crowd?

He decides on the simplest way of finding out, calling the number on the card around 4AM...

PbP doesn't lend itself well to portraying real-time conversations, we can probably summarize the conversation rather than conducting it line-by-line. In general Richard would be cool but cordial, but his response will depend on your approach.


Phillip's introduction of himself is all formality. He does explain that he is recently arrived and is looking to develop new professional contacts. At no time does he refer to Richard as anything other than "Mr. Twidwell" and he pauses slightly if he is ever referred to as "Phillip."

"I certainly do not wish to waste any of your or your associates' time; however, I am of the opinion that a face-to-face meeting would be to our mutual long-term benefit."


To some extent, time in Pendaros has dulled Richard's sense of formality- but not to the degree that he would slip into a first name basis before he's been properly introduced. He also has an intense dislike of electronic communication if the topics of discussion could broach on any sensitive business issues or anything affecting the Masquerade, so the conversation is probably quite brief.

"Very well, Mr. Esterhase. Meet me at 5AM tomorrow at the table near the tennis courts in Main Street Park."

Richard tried to pick a spot with plenty of visibility, and set the meeting late enough in the evening that it was unlikely a vampire could follow him home afterward and still have enough time to get to a safe refuge...

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

It was the next night at the Black Ale Tavern, when Richard and Thomas were scheduled to meet. The Tavern had an odd mix of beings as always, but unlike the usual crowd of people wearing Victorian and Medieval outfits, or even the outrageous clubbing outfits of the Kindred and the Changelings, many of the patrons were in their street clothing; tonight was 'Mundane' night, were many of the patrons attempted to recreate an average bar of the normal, mortal, world.

In the corner were a band would normally play was a vampire in front of some Stereo equipment, and an old microphone, well loved and easily twenty years old. The DJ, a ragged looking black man, waved a wand to the crowd and smiled a toothy grin.

"Welcome patrons, to Karaoke night! First up, your favorite, Michael Miller, singing...well, you know..."

A groan escaped from the crowd.

When Thomas and Richard entered the Tavern, Francious would flag them down, indicating he wished to talk to them at the bar.


Up to the stage hoped a man with long wavy hair and a sharp face, wearing a leather coat that was lined with fur. He seemed delighted to be on stage, and smiled brightly as he grabbed the microphone. It looked like he was about to speak when the DJ quickly started the music; it prompted Michael to suddenly look sad and somber. He belted out the song without looking at the holographic screen showing the lyrics, seeming REALLY into it. Once the second chorus started, he shouted to the crowd.

"Come on everyone, sing along!"

The people half heartily sang along with the vampire, who seemed to be almost crying out to someone who was gone long ago.


Male

No word from Natasha, yet again. Something happened, and I didnt know what it was. I tried her phone, sent a few messages to what seemed to be her online, nothing.

Either way, I had to meet with Richard again tonight. Which meant that bar from the other day. Not knowing another way into UnderPendros, I went back in through the outside bar, keeping my eyes down as I walked quickly through and opened the door into the strange world of the Black Ale Tavern.

The first thing that hit me was a man in a leather coat, singing mediocre karaoke. I didnt know the song, it sounded old and boring, but he was really into it. Not so into it was the crowd. Maybe if the man had hit the autotune button, and had chosen a better song... Then again, if the people here were as old as Richard, who knows what they listened to.

Looking around for the older vampire, I saw the bartender gesturing for me. Glancing back at the karaoke, I walked up to the bar.

Err, you wanted me?


His life was busy enough without Sasha's meddling, now he had to take care of these neonates as well- there weren't enough hours in a night! As he made his way down to the tavern he idly considered how he could use the childer to his advantage. On first impression they lacked the ambition to be welcomed into the invictus- both seemed content with scraping along day by day, just making enough to pay the rent. The girl could probably do security work, Barkovia might take it as a peace offering if Richard landed them a reliable vampire to help clean up those occasional breaches of the masquerade...

Thomas, he seemed to enjoy working with the injured mortals. Maybe if he explained how the invictus could open doors at medical schools and prestigious residency/fellowship programs... he could probably disabuse the fellow of that Carthian nonsense...

Stepping into the tavern proper, Richard notices Francious's invitation and strolls over to find out what the news is.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Francious leaned in close as he slid two bloody marys towards the Vampires.

"Thee one on stage paid for these. He wishes to have words with you, uh, once he is done singing,"


Michael finished his song.

"Thank You Pendros! And goodnight!"

He hoped off the stage and sat down next to Thomas.

"Howdy! I hope you boys like your drinks. Lets get this table over here; we'll talk, yeah?"


Richard raises an eyebrow at Miller's invitation. He appreciated the value of staying abreast mortal culture as much as the next fellow and he usually made a point of dropping in on Sunday nights at least once a month. He had seen the singer before but never paid him much thought- still it never paid to make enemies casually, no matter how banal they might seem at first glance.

Not caring for bloody marys, Richard sips from his drink to be polite and invites Miller to lead the way...


Male

Thomas takes look at the bloody mary slid in front of him, thinking at how much he used to hate the spicy drink. He also felt a little uncomfortable with how an unknown person, presumably a vampire, would buy them drinks.

Thanks, I guess.

He turns to see what Richard would think, but is interrupted as the singer sat down next to him. A little nervous, and a lot annoyed at not having all the facts, he looks at the 3rd person sitting at the bar, before speaking.

Thanks for the drink. Erm, who are you, exactly?


Michael his own bloody mary that he had left on the bar, sipping it as he walked over to the table and seating himself at it.

"Well friend, I'm the answer to all your problems. Yes indeed, problems here and problems there...not that you have very many at the moment mind you. But, you will!"

He sat at the table, swinging his boots up to the table's top.

"Yessir! Name's Michael, and I'm an oracle for the Queen's upstart Princess. Or, I was. So, now I'm here to help you help me help you!"


Male

An Oracle? For the queen's princess? He repeated the man's words, not knowing what else to say. So you do prophecies or something? He thinks for a second. Wait, the queen has a princess?


Richard levels a flat glare at Thomas, then turns back to Michael as if he hadn't spoken.

"I already got stepped on, hard, for putting my nose in that "upstart's" business. I hope you'll understand if I'm wary of anyone who seems a little too solicitous- how can you possibly help the situation?"


Michael smiled, and seemed unfazed by Thomas's words.

"Yes young one, the Queen's 'Heir Apparent'. Because, when one lives forever, one must have an heir,"

He rolled his eyes, not at Thomas, but at the idea of an 'Heir Apparent'.

"I was an Oracle for the Princess because she wanted me there, not because the Queen had any say in the matter. I'm of the Malkavian clan you see, and we can peer into the future,"

He then turned to the older Vampire.

"Richard! Come now. I can read the future. Think of the things we could do together..."

He looks a bit nervous.

"Listen. The truth is that we night children, well, we need each other. I've been without a coterie for a week now...you know what happens when we isolate ourselves! Alone in a sea of people...the thing that we are, what we truly are, it begins to make progress against one's self, and soon, we become the vile thing in a pit, not even worthy of a final death,"

He paused and leaned into the table a bit closer, sipping his drink again.

"I was at Club V when I overheard your plight. I remember you as a calm, confident man, unlike that Garen fellow who just woke up. I figured you could use someone who's been around for a time, someone with my...talents,"

He tapped his head as he said this.


Male

If you're the queen's oracle, then why arent you part of her... coterie? I'm sorry, but I feel pretty good being on my own. Thomas thinks about the prospect of being linked to the other vamps. He liked the fact that he's had a connection with the outside world, and with the fact that he controls his own destiny. Buying into this idea of having to report to some dark age formulated royalty system just doesnt make sense. But while this may not be ideal, the fact is, she has the power. In the future, if things work out, this wont be the case forever, but for now... The queen pulls the strings, apparently, and I like being alive, or whatever I am right now.

So if we somehow have need of each other, then what do you propose?


Richard had expected to be offered wealth, information, gossip... pretty much anything- but an appeal to his humanity? He had been in that pit, and knew first-hand that it took decades to crawl out. Most never did.

An idea suddenly came to Richard, one so obvious he didn't know why it hadn't occurred to him earlier- he would bring it up later. For now, Michael had his attention.

Richard gives Michael a slow nod as he mentions his need for a coterie, "Yes, you have my attention. What exactly do you have in mind?"


Thomas smiled.

"Well my fellows, what I propose is that we don't find out who turned Thomas. Or, we do, but we pretend to not know who it is, and say we're still searching. That'll keep the queen, and more importantly, Micario, from probing too deep into our affairs. In the meanwhile...I say...I say we try and find out what happened to the last Prince. Runningwater. He just up and left, they say, in 2009. But that doesn't make a lick of damn sense!"

He smiled, leaning back.

"And I'm sure you need what I've got in here Richard,"

He tapped his head again.

"Remember, I've hung with the Princess, the 'heir apparent' for the last few years. I know things. All you have to do is ask, and you'll know them as well. Assuming you agree. Agree to trust me, and I'll trust you, as one trusts his coterie fellows,"

He looked both Kindred over.

"Also, you both are way out of date. No one down here cares, but you can't get a bite to eat down here. Oh, speaking of, Thomas, do you even have feeding rights yet? Oh, yeah...I also lost all my feeding rights. Thomas! My buddy working as an EMT! Care to let your buddy Mike in on your sweet little deal? Assuming, of course, George doesn't stake you for thinning his herd?"


Male

You mean, do I have some special permission? I dunno, but I try and be discrete enough that nobody notices. Who's George? I dont mind getting you in on the deal, as long as you come up with the right paperwork. Like I told Natasha, there arent many people willing to work night shift. Speaking of, where is she?


"Out of date? Bah! I prefer to cultivate a certain amount of anachronism. I would rather be thought eccentric than scurry to keep up with these fashions..."

Richard considers the other vampire for some time while bantering with him then abruptly makes up his mind.

"I'll trust you, for as long as you don't give me reason not to. I hadn't planned on running back to Sasha as soon as I found out what was going on. Information like this is shaping up to be needs to be treated... delicately. As to Runningwater, I heard he was just plain outmaneuvered. Conceding defeat and leaving town gracefully has a certain appeal, compared to being torn limb-from-limb by wolves. Do you think there was more to it?"


Michael looked him over.

"I'm not saying you need to wear the tight fitting full body suits that the youth are nuts over in the clubs, but Richard! You've got buckles and straps in places that there haven't been since before my mortal birth. And it isn't that you aren't fashionable, but those clothes aren't made for every night out! It looks like you're on your way to the social event of the season, not a business meeting,"

He rolled his eyes for a moment, forgetting himself and his place. Realizing that he had only JUST been approved, he jerked up suddenly, as if waking from a dream, and patted himself down, as if looking for something, before he realized were and who he was, and gave up.

"Damn these mortal memories! Richard, my waking dreams show me something more with Runningwater's disappearing act. I've seen a man, not a monster, escaping into the day. I think he achieved...oh, what's the word the old one's threw about back in the 90's...Gholliconda? Jullconda? It was something guh sounding conda...anyways...but I don't think he meant to leave us for so long. I've seen a skeleton locking an iron coffin, with us three inside, and then after what feels like a thousand years of sleep, a thousand hands all at once rip it open and we step out, into the light..."

I spend a willpower point and try to interpret the on coming vision Intelligence + Academics [Visions] 4d10 ⇒ (9, 7, 2, 10) = 28 Ten again 1d10 ⇒ 8

Michael's voice drops into the monotone, and as he looks far past you as if staring into another world, you can see the beast in his eyes.

"And the pack is dead. Their leader is a monstrous dead snake with a peace symbol who spits coin and bleeds glitter. They pull us into the light, and we fear it, as we should, but the queen looks into the mirror, ignoring our plight as she loves her image, but the image isn't there to love her back. And the princess cries for a father, but she doesn't cry at all, as she talks to a field of sheep. And we try to crawl into the coffin, but it's gone. The dead pack parts like the red sea that it is, and I see...I see our Prince. He is walking in the sun light, with his old smile that made us love him so, and he opens his arms and says, like Jesus, believe in me and you shall live forever in the light, and you shall be my champions, and the light...it comes from a thousand light bulbs, shining down at us, and behind them is the darkness of the camera lenses,"

Michael suddenly pops out of his vision. Crimson tears pour out of his eyes.

"Oh my sweet. How I wish you could hold me in my crisis. The Masquerade! It will not survive the Princess's mayoral ceremony! She'll damn us all!"


MICHAEL! Richard shouts quietly, almost hisses at the man, It is Sunday! We are in public!" he throws a monogrammed handkerchief across the table and quickly glances around the room to see if Miller's indiscretion was noticed.

Malkavians! Like it or not, there was probably something to all that babbling about coffins an death and light and darkness. When Michael began his narration Richard pulled out his computer and stabbed at it's glossy display until he found the 'Record' function. As he abruptly finishes his prophesying, Richard types in the beginning of the monologue as best he can remember it.

While the other vampire composes himself, Richard considers everything he has said. "Surely you can't mean that all of that was supposed to be *literal*?! Runningwatter in the sunlight is probably just a metaphor, for freedom or revelation or some-such. And why should the ceremony go poorly? Body doubles have been used in politics for ages: Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, Yeltsin... Oswald. Why should Barkovia endanger the Masquerade to handle things any other way?"

"...and Golconda", Richard says after a thoughtful pause. He says the word slowly, almost whimsically and lets it hang in the air for a moment before dismissing the myth. "No, impossible- a dream. A dangerous, deluded, seductive dream. Those who cannot accept our nature are always looking for a way to escape it, be it drugs or God or chasing after a fanciful legend. There's a certain type of person who would just lay down and die if they didn't have a quest to set upon- and those are the ones who go on about Golconda as if we could escape this just by being a better person!" Richard's tone gets more and more heated as he rails against the concept of Golconda, apparently it is something of a sensitive topic for him...


Male

Thomas was first struck by how intense the experience appeared to be for the singer. Rather than his initial disbelief and dismissal of this... oracle, he began to take the man seriously. Trying to get a grasp on just what was going on, Thomas listened to Richard's attempt to interpret the vision.

You get all of that recorded? I've got it up here. Thomas taps the right side of his head. It hasnt worked quite right since I was turned, but if you need the video, lemme know. Only got a few minutes of storage though.

He thinks on the new mayor's coming acceptance speech. I agree. Body double, or doubtless there are creatures down here who could make themselves look and speak exactly like her. Unless, Michael, this would go wrong?

Finally, what in the world is Golconda? Thomas reaches into his pocket, and takes out his phone. Quickly bringing up a search, he hesitates before hitting the buttons. I'm not going to find anything on the internet, will I? All right, at the risk of becoming a broken record, I wont ask about what Golconda is. But from what you described, he was able to somehow walk in sunlight. I'm more concerned about this vision of the three of us walking in sunlight after having our coffin ripped open.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Note this Thomas, so you can roleplay it later if you like: All video recordings of Kindred show nothing at all, and most wireless signals don't work either, meaning you can't get the internet or anything like it down there. If you have a thinkbest implant, then you can't record or save anything, because it works on cloud memory only; however, Barkovia implants would have memory.

Richard notices that someone had been singing to a heavy metal song, and badly, so thankfully, no one had noticed anything at their table.

I just want to be clear, 'Mundane' night is all about 'pretending' to be human amongst monsters; it is very rare for a normal human to be down here, unless someone snuck them in


Michael wiped away his tears, the cloth now soaked with spent Vitae.

"I'm sorry boys, they just keep hitting me. I haven't 'slept' in days because of them,"

He tried to assume a form of calm as he addressed Thomas's first question.

"I...don't know what could go wrong, but the rumor is that the Princess is doing the ceremony herself, without a body double or anything. I'm not sure what that will achieve, but when I told her my vision, that's when she kicked me out. I hadn't thought about it this way until now, no wonder she ousted me. She doesn't like being told she'll fail at something..."

He nodded his head at Richard's thoughts.

"Indeed, it is a fairy tale, but it's the fairtale the Dragons take to heart, and I think Runningwater was a member. Hell, I've heard the princess talk about Sasha knowing a vampire who achieved it...but until recently, I thought it was all propaganda spewing from her lips. Now I wonder...but I won't speak on it further Richard, not tonight anyways,"

He turned to Thomas again.

"Well, I don't know what the vision meant, but it was clear that I should seek you out, so, I did and I have. Now that I have, the vision is longer, and clearer to me,"

He thought.

"If we take it apart, piece by piece...I don't know. These things are sometimes so clear and ofttimes so muddy. Why, I remember sometime in the early 00's that I didn't have them for four years! And sometime in 80's, I had them nightly for months...although, I was feeding on coke-heads, so I wonder if that had something to do with it,"


Male

Hahaha. can't believe I forgot that. Ill write up the details of the implant when I'm at a comp next.


Yep, my mistake... I guess I got the description mixed up in my mind. Richard would still be mortified to be seen with a weeping beatnik, just not worried about the masquerade.


Male

Too late to edit, but I realized I'll let my post stand. Still would have had the audio correct? So in underpendros, no wireless period? For now, lets say Thomas prefers the Barkovia stuff. Using the cloud can be problematic, and the security issues that might have make him prefer the sturdier, less flashy, stuff.

Thomas considers the implications that his phone is not receiving signals. Being cut off from the internet had him feeling uneasy, almost as if he was missing a part of himself. He frowned, the difficulties that presented adding to the issues the night had already brought.

Trying to shake his mind off the topic, he thinks about the images. Sheep... the humans? Talking into a field of sheep would be her acceptance speech? As to the rest, he's coming back like some messiah, but if the light isnt real, its some sham?

The man's tears dotting the handkerchief drew his eye, and Thomas couldnt help but comment. It sounds hard, errr, to have the visions.


"You say that you saw the three of us in a coffin. What about Natasha, the woman who was with us at V, has she been in any of your visions? She is the third- now fourth member of our little coterie..."


Male

Good point. It looked to me as if she could take care of herself. I tried to get ahold of her the last couple of days and got nothing, which has me a bit worried.


"Sorry boys, I didn't see a woman, but I might have seen a shadowy figure or more in the coffin. It was a big coffin, like something out of Bettlejuice. Generally, my visions look a lot like that movie..."

He sipped his bloody mary.

"Blech. I hate these things,"


Male

Thats because they taste bad.

Thomas thought about the lack of contact from Natasha. Not too scary, given that she had just me the two of them. His first thought was that maybe she had skipped town, or that something, or someone, from her military days had caught up with her.

A solid movie though. As far as the vision, where do we go from here? I barely have a grip on what's going on, but it seems as if your vision was true, then the three or four of us have some shared future, involving the princess and this former prince. As for the fourth member... I'll see what I can find on Natasha. But could it be someone else?


Michael shook his head.

"I'm not sure. If you give me a photo of your missing member, I might be able to focus the visions on her. But right now...I think I've given you what I can,"


Male

No problem. I dont have service down here otherwise I'd send you her picture, pre-embrace, but I will when I get out. So, what's our next move? Thomas makes sure to look at each man before stirring his unappetizing drink.


"I learned a few things about Smiley's- that's the place Thomas's sire dumped him after he was turned", Richard says for Michael's benefit, "It turns out it's a front for the Maximoff's. They have a lot of other holdings out on the warehouse district, so I'm thinking about digging around over there once I have a little more information... I'm meeting with a contact tomorrow evening."

"Other than that, there's a new vampire in town, goes by the name of Esterhase." Richard lays the card he was given on the table, "I'm not sure what his angle is, but I arranged a meeting with him Tuesday morning an hour before sunrise. I'll have someone there watching my back but I wouldn't mind having a few friends nearby, in case things to bad..."


Michael nods.

"That sounds like a fine plan. Whoever it is you are meeting, I am sure they would not be too much of a problem for me and Thomas here!"

He mockingly punches his hand and he chuckles.

"But seriously, I'm s%@& in a fight, although, I can cause the Malkavian curse to manifest in others. And much worse than mine! Although, I can't imagine what is worse than being a vampire who suffers from insomnia,"


Male

I can hold my own. I dont like it, and would feel better with Natasha, but... Apparently these Maximoffs have taught me something. I will go with you tomorrow. Its what a coterie does, right?

Thomas feels uncomfortable with the idea of relying or giving help to others. Being his own person is far easier. He knows what he is doing, what he is thinking. The others, though, he is often clueless about. But having people to rely on, its not all bad.

Running a hand through his hair, he finishes, Lets see what this guy wants.


"Thomas... your sire did you a grave disservice. Most of those who are newly turned are under their sire's protection for decades while they learn about our unique culture. Coteries, nobility, feeding rights- I will explain all this to you when time permits. Drink deeply tonight and be ready for action tomorrow; we will have a look around the warehouse district after I meet with my contacts and learn what else there is to know about this holding company of the Giovannis."

Richard takes his leave after saying this, (unless someone has something else to discuss) abandoning his almost-untouched drink. He is not in the mood for spending a night with his usual group of sycophants and decides to go slumming tonight instead. He picks a random block of corporate housing and makes his way to the community center. From amidst the random flotsam and jetsam who are out and about at this time of night he settles on a student in her early 20s, obviously high on some sort of stimulant as she fidgets and bounces her attention from one book or device to another. Richard strikes up a conversation with her and spends some time discussing her studies, favorite hangouts, views on politics, and the like. After that he suggests they go for a walk in the night air to help clear her mind...

Feeding roll: Presence+Persuasion9d10 + 1d10 ⇒ (8, 7, 8, 5, 5, 9, 7, 6, 6) + (7) = 68 = 3 successes


Michael also then takes his leave, opting to go back to his haven, and locks himself up for a restless day of the beast going into a frenzy.

Resolve + Composure to sleep:7d10 ⇒ (1, 6, 2, 9, 7, 8, 8) = 41

Thankfully, this day gives him rest.


Male

Sounds like a plan.

Thomas gets up and leaves, slightly rudely without a decent goodbye. Still trying to process the night's events, he heads home. He thinks about feeding, knowing he might need the strength. Opening up his phone, he gives a call to the dispatcher, asking if anyone has called out. The dispatcher lets him know he can have half a shift, so Thomas heads towards the the firehouse.

8d10 + 1d10 ⇒ (10, 9, 1, 9, 2, 7, 2, 5) + (7) = 52

Another good night for feeding. His partner for the night, a woman not much older than Thomas, was more than happy to drive the truck, leaving Thomas to take advantage of three of the emergency calls they answered that night. The fourth, a young college kid, was obviously drunk. Thomas had never fed on someone intoxicated before, and was a little hesitant to try.

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

FYI Volt, please list what you used to roll your dice pool; I assume it was for feeding? Also, if you guys get successes, just list how much you take. Keep in mind, the average human has 6-7 Health.

Richard, sated after his latest conquest, thanks his lucky stars that he has just feed. The door handle to his haven is bloody, and the door swings freely open, and a bloody trail, which could be seen leading from the stairwell, leads directly to his hardly used restroom.

----------

Thomas, at Barkovia Hospital, his shift almost done, suddenly finds a bag thrown over his head.

"George says HI A$%#$~*!"

Before he could act, something pierces his chest, causing him horrible pain as the world goes black...

Thomas, take one Lethal damage. Also, XP Time! You each get 3 for free. Since the last time I gave out XP, please justify to me times you've fulfilled your Virtue, Vice, Motivations, and Flaws. If I agree, you'll get more XP. Also, Thomas, because I just janked your character without using the rules, you get another 1 XP

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Thomas, take 2 more lethal damage. See page 176-177 for more on staking; it says I had to do 3 lethal.

The burning sensation returned, and a fellow vampire stood before him holding a stake, bloody with Thomas's own vitae. The bag must have already been removed. He now would find himself in a church, chained to the cross located at the bottom of the Apse. Around him stood five vampires, whom he had never seen...

Thomas must now resist Rötschreck, the fear frenzy. Roll a dice pool of Resolve+Composure with a -2. You may spend a willpower point to resist.


Male

Well poop. ;) Was hoping that was a knife.
3d10 ⇒ (10, 3, 10) = 232d10 ⇒ (8, 4) = 12
Roll for a dicepool of 5-2, with 1 10-again. I'll RP when I get home and can get to my books. This is based on what I could google quickly. With feeding, he's at full vitae, luckily, so I'm not sure how that factors into the healing, and again, I'll RP that when I get home.

Thomas had no time to react, and before he realized it, he was dreaming. Fearful images of pain and flight ripped through his mind. He had no coherent thoughts, only emotions of terror. Waking up suddenly, he found himself facing a group of what must have been vampires.


Male

Just realized I dont know how many successes it took to beat the frenzy. Also, from the books fear frenzy is usually from light/fire, but I agree that right now, fear is the most likely response, lol.

Thomas looks around, confusion and uncertainty clouding any thoughts he had. What had just happened? He looked down at a large wound in his chest and the horror sets in that he's experienced something out of a movie. But in all the movies, the things died.

What the crap is going on? Who are you? Why am I chained up here? And how am I not dead?

Cheliax

Dude Human Student, 5th lvl

Predator's taint. Anyways, with a success, the beast doesn't take you over and make you run away like a pansy.

The vampires all looked at each other and, when one started to giggle, they all started laughing.

"WOW! You don't know ANYTHING, do you?"

As they laughed some more, Thomas could see the doors at the opposite end of the nave opening violently. In walked a Hispanic looking man, not much older than he, dressed in the robes of a catholic priest, and looking furious. He spoke with a thick Hispanic accent.

"WHAT IN THE HOLY LORD'S NAME IS GOING ON HERE?"

The other vampires stopped chuckling and looked at each other in surprise.

"Padre, he was feeding on George's turf,"

The man, now closer to Thomas, slapped the other who had spoken.

"God be praised that Christ died for your sins Carlos, because the fires of hell couldn't burn away your stupidity! This is NOT how you treat your brethren! Get him down! NOW!"

The other vampires, now looking as foolish as they felt, began to remove Thomas's chains. The priestly looking vampire bowed.

"I apologize for my flock's rash actions. Please, forgive them. I am Archdeacon Miguel Chavez, but everyone just calls me Padre,"


The townhouse was much more humble than his other houses, but for some time now it had been his home. A cold rage runs through Richard as he notices that his home has been violated, he takes a moment to gather his thoughts then carefully steps into the building. He looks around quickly and takes a breath to test the air for the scent of death or other telltale smells, then goes to the closet and pulls out his shotgun. Looking through every room in the house will not take long, and he starts by leveling the shotgun and stepping around to get a good view of whatever is in the bathroom.

Move silently (dex+stealth) 4d10 ⇒ (4, 4, 3, 6) = 17 = failure
Perception (wits+composure) 4d10 + 1d10 ⇒ (1, 9, 2, 10) + (1) = 23 = 2 successes

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